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Confectionery Connections

Ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, spider webs—these are some of the things that come to mind when thinking about Halloween. But the most important of all might be candy! I love how there is no shame in eating as much candy as I like this time of year. I must admit, sweet treats are on my mind a lot—so much so, that I couldn’t help but make some sugary connections with our collection.

Candy dish, Louis Comfort Tiffany (maker), date unknown, iridescent glass,  Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Waggener, 1983.18

If the title of this piece is not enough to spark your imagination, maybe the gorgeous color of Tiffany’s candy dish will. Tiffany may be best known for his stained glass windows, but his creative versatility was also renowned. Lamps, vessels, jewelry—you name it, he could do it. The iridescent glass on this dish reminds me of old-fashioned pulled taffy, delicately thinned out into a flower-like shape, or an unraveled, satiny candy wrapper inviting us to share its saccharine delights.

Dale Chihuly, Hart Window, 1995, glass, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Linda and Mitch Hart, 1995.21.a-ii, © Dale Chihuly

Speaking of glass, Dale Chihuly’s blown glass sculpture is an iconic installation commissioned for the Hamon Atrium. One of my fellow interns shared a story of a little girl who disagreed that Chihuly’s piece was made of glass. She asked the young girl what she thought it was, to which the girl answered, “plastic.” I was hoping she was going to say candy, because that’s what I think of every time I pass by. The vibrancy of the colors and the seemingly soft forms make me think of fruit roll-ups.

Pendant: macaw head profile, Mexico or Guatemala, Maya, 600–900 CE, Dallas Museum of Art, given in memory of Jerry L. Abramson by his estate, 2008.76

This Maya pendant of a macaw head profile has me dreaming of a flavorful lozenge. When viewed in person, this jadeite pendant pops out from the gallery’s gray walls, almost as if glowing. It’s no wonder that the Mayans valued jadeite and other greenstones as some of their most precious materials, just like diamonds are to us.

Wassily Kandinsky, Murnau, Burggrabenstrasse 1, 1908, 1908, oil on cardboard, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1963.31

Wassily Kandinsky had a neurological condition called synesthesia, a rare phenomenon in which one sense simultaneously triggers another sense. In Kandinsky’s case, he saw colors when he heard music. I like to think that I taste things when I look at art, but that’s not really true. This landscape painting reminds me of Munchkinland from The Wizard of Oz. Can you imagine the sidewalks lined with gumdrops and lollipops?

I blame candy makers for conditioning my brain to associate bright colors with candy, but I hope my connections have emphasized the enchanting qualities of these works of art. Art truly transcends visual response and transforms into palpable sensations, or at least that’s what I tell myself to feel better about my sweet tooth. I encourage you to explore which pieces from the DMA’s collection speak to you.

Paulina Martín is the McDermott Intern for Gallery & Community Teaching at the DMA.

Get to Know C3 Visiting Artist Lauren Cross

The Center for Creative Connections (C3) is thrilled to host Lauren Cross as our final artist in the 2018 Visiting Artist Project. Through her practice, Cross brings her passion and knowledge for engaging communities across the DFW Metroplex to the DMA. Her project created for C3 is no different: Assembly invites visitors to independently contribute drawings of useful and meaningful objects in their lives on 4 x 4-inch cardboard squares. Every few weeks, a selection of drawings will be installed with the goal of creating a collaborative quilt. Read this interview with the artist to learn more about her project—and stop by C3 to contribute your own drawing for the quilt!

Lauren Portrait

Tell us about yourself.
I am an artist, curator, and scholar; I am a wife, and also a mother to a beautiful, vibrant 15 month old. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and also spent a lot of time in both North Texas and East Texas as a child, visiting my uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents. Like many artists, I find that my work is both visually and contextually autobiographical.

Growing up within African American families with a strong impulse for oral history and cultural tradition had an important impact on my thinking as an artist. As a result, my pull within art history and cultural discourses has often looked intently at narratives that vividly describe my personal history and influences. I am the descendant of African American quilters, carpenters, builders, creatives, and culture bearers whose legacies are often reclaimed in my work.

Tell us a little about past projects that led you to apply to the C3 Visiting Artist Project.
I have always been a teaching artist who has engaged community within my work. One of my first projects after graduating was to design an arts curriculum for a local church in Dallas. Most recently, I helped develop community art projects for my nonprofit organization, WoCA Projects. This involved a partnership with ACT United, which created a photography education and exhibition project called My Fort Worth and a commission from the City of Fort Worth that collected over 2,000 visitor responses across the city about public art.

In applying for the C3 Visiting Artist Project, I saw an opportunity to connect my interest in community with my interdisciplinary studio practice using brown paper bags, digital imaging, and installation. With that, I thought of my Everyday Use installation projects, which I felt connected well with the DMA’s permanent collection. I felt that those works in particular gave me an aesthetic and material language that would allow me to create a project that could speak to DMA visitors.

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Tell us about the installation you’ve created in the Center for Creative Connections.
The installation I created, called Assembly, is a project that allows me to speak to my practice, which has often referenced the cultural narratives surrounding both brown paper bags and quilts and their relationship to African American culture. I thought a lot about C3’s emphasis on objects as they relate to identity as inspiration. It seemed like a great opportunity for me to address the objects that I use and reference in my work and the narratives about identity that are connected to them: skin color, hierarchy, cultural heritage, and history. I was happy to have the opportunity to probe visitors to think about everyday objects that mean something to them in hopes that there could be wider conversations about the things that have meaning in our lives.

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Do you have any favorite visitor contributions you’d like to share?

visitor contributions

What have you enjoyed most about this experience so far?

I have enjoyed seeing the sheer volume of thoughtful responses from visitors to the project. It has been empowering to pose a question and to get such great feedback. As an educator, it’s like teaching a subject that your students get excited about. I have also enjoyed having the opportunity to work with various museum educators throughout the project to find ways to connect visitors to the wider themes we are dealing with.

What upcoming projects are you working on or excited about?

I have an exciting exhibition coming up at the Cliff Gallery at Mountain View College (DCCD) from November 19 to December 14. This includes a Kitchen Table Talk with African American women artists and creatives in North Texas on Thursday, November 29, from noon to 2:00 p.m. and an artist reception on Friday, December 7, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. I will also have an exhibition at the Carillon Gallery at Tarrant County College South Campus in March 2019 as a result of my artist residency there this fall.

Join C3 Visiting Artist Lauren Cross for a Gallery Talk on Wednesday, December 19, from 12:15 to 1:00 p.m. Gallery talks are included in free admission.

Kerry Butcher is the Center for Creative Connections Education Coordinator at the DMA.

Make & Take: Architectural Artistry

We have a new way to get creative at the DMA! Make & Take is a new art-making series that takes place on one Thursday every month. Drop by on October 25 and stay for as long as you want, whether it’s a few minutes or an hour, and you’ll leave with a new skill plus your own creation. Our first Make & Take was on Thursday, September 27. As the weather cooled down, participants enjoyed their time outside on our Sculpture Terrace near the Conservation Gallery, overlooking part of the downtown skyline. Local artist and architecture teacher Jay Cantrell led participants in exercises that helped give shape to the cluster of buildings in front of them. One exercise involved outlining the skyline that showed the different structures using only one line. Another was focusing on architectural details of the buildings, like windows and arches, so you don’t get overwhelmed by tackling the entire building. You can see a few examples below.

View from Sculpture Terrace

Architectural drawing made by Jay Cantrell

Outline of skyline done by participant

Small detail of building done by participant

If you didn’t get a chance to come out and sketch with us, don’t worry! Make & Take will happen once a month (except December) and explore a new art technique every time. On the 25th, we’ll be working with vibrant pastels to make abstract images inspired by the pastels on view in Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty. On November 29, explore monotype printmaking, where you’ll make subtractive images in ink and then print using a press, like the monotypes featured in Ida O’Keeffe: Escaping Georgia’s Shadow.

Katie Cooke is Manager of Adult Programs at the DMA.

School of Art

Next week the DMA will host its first College Night! We are excited to open our doors on Wednesday, October 24, for this exclusive evening just for college students.

Since students will be taking a break from their busy fall semesters to join us (and hopefully all the midterms are over), we wanted this night to be a mix of fun and informative activities.

We’ll serve complimentary snacks and drinks, and there will be art activities, music spun by DJ Derek Lynn, and a chance to talk with DMA staff to learn more about various museum careers. Students can also see our new exhibition Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art for free, and they can grab a sweet treat while learning more about our McDermott Internship Program.

For this night only, in honor of all those hours spent toiling away in their classes, we created a new self-guide called In a Class of Your Own, highlighting 14 school subjects and one work of art that best illustrates it. Here are a few that will be featured:

Archaeology

Idol, folded-arm form, Greece, Cycladic, c. 2700–2100 BCE, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, The Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus Collection of Fertility Figures, 1982.292.FA

Environmental Science

Frederic Edwin Church, The Icebergs, 1861, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt, 1979.28

US History

William Tylee Ranney, Veterans of 1776 Returning from the War, 1848, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund, Special Contributors and General Acquisitions Fund, 1981.40

Music

Drum, Côte d’Ivoire, Senufo peoples, 20th century, wood and hide, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus, 1981.139.FA

Interior Design

“Marshmallow” sofa, George Nelson Associates (designer), Irving Harper (designer), Herman Miller, Inc. (manufacturer), designed c. 1954–55, steel, aluminum, paint, foam, and wool, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund, 1995.41

Women’s Studies

Altar depicting the first female ancestor (luli), Indonesia, Southeast Moluccas, 19th century, wood and shell, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 1999.181.McD

Stacey Lizotte is the DMA League Director of Adult Programs at the DMA.

Hopi Histories, Possible Futures

Today marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which recognizes the cultural contributions and importance of indigenous groups in the United States. In recognition of the holiday, we’re spotlighting the complex yet ultimately hopeful mural Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, on view for free until December 2. The mural reflects the long collaboration between Hopi artists Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie, who created the work in 2001 for the Museum of Northern Arizona. The exhibition also highlights a number of ancestral and modern works in the DMA’s permanent collection that connect to themes and material culture depicted in the murals.

PanelA

Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie, Journey of the Human Spirit–The Emergence (Panel A), 2001, courtesy of the Museum of Northern Arizona, photograph by Gene Balzer

This six-paneled mural weaves a story of Hopi society from its emergence to the beginning of the 21st century. The large painting creates an immediate sense of warmth and light through its luminous colors and the combination of simplified geometric forms with soft, painterly textures. However, the harmony of the composition is at odds with some of its content: Panel B depicts the violence of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, when Pueblo groups fought back against the Spanish colonists who had settled in the Southwest.

PanelB

Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie, Journey of the Human SpiritPueblo Revolt: The Rebellion of 1680 (Panel B)

As the mural’s journey moves through time, it also alludes to the destructive extraction of uranium and coal from Hopi lands,as well as present-day problems such as alcoholism, illness, food deserts, drug use, and suicide.

PanelE

Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie, Journey of the Human SpiritRational Side: The Dysfunction (Panel E)

The coexistence of both destruction and regeneration in the mural reflects the Hopi principles that ground the artists’ work. Kobatie and Honanie explain that for Hopi, cycles of destruction and rebirth reflect an effort to find balance. For example, as the mural shows, although the Pueblo Revolt brought great violence, it ultimately forced the Spanish to retreat. Because of this violence, there was a regeneration of Hopi culture, which early Spanish settlers had severely repressed. The central panel powerfully symbolizes this through an image of the Squash Maiden, a new baby growing from an ear of corn, and the combination of ancestral images along the mural’s lower register with contemporary Hopi baskets, jewelry, and ceramics in the upper portion of the image.

PanelC

Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie, Journey of the Human SpiritMiddle Place: The Rebirth (Panel C)

The notion of contradiction as a place from which to grow and to find balance also informs Honanie and Kabotie’s understanding of their mission as Hopi artists. Their artistic practice was communal and rooted in Hopi culture, but it was also a reflection of individual goals and journeys. Kabotie and Honanie attempted to create a new visual language that incorporated Hopi imagery but also drew from Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, and US mass culture.

PanelF

Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie, Journey of the Human SpiritHope: Confusion and Hope (Panel F)

By placing a computer at the top of a Teotihuacan-style talud-tablero (slope and panel) pyramid, the artists look to contemporary technology and its potential for interconnectivity as a way to share wisdom from many cultures and traditions and create a balanced future, but they also root this technology and wisdom firmly in a collective indigenous history of the Americas.

Chloë Courtney is a Digital Collections Content Coordinator at the DMA.

Basis of Bourbon

As the weather becomes cooler (well, sort of), we’re looking forward to warming up inside the Museum with our third installment of Artful Pairings this Thursday—an exclusive night of drink tastings and Museum tours for adults. This event will feature a tour of our new exhibition Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art, and what better drink to go with quintessentially American art than bourbon? We’ll hear from the folks at Crooked Fox Bourbon about their product, and mix our own cocktails with bourbon as the star, paired with small bites from our cafe.

To get you in the mood for some barrel-aged goodness, here are some fun facts about bourbon and a few works from our collection that pair nicely with them.

Rembrandt Peale, George Washington, c. 1850, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation, 1987.41

Did you know that George Washington played a role in how bourbon came to be? In 1789 frontier farmers violently rebelled against their new American government for trying to tax their whiskey, which they used for currency and trade (not just for drinking). As George Washington led an army out west to end this rebellion, some of the disgruntled distillers fled further west to Kentucky, where they thought they would be able to operate under less restrictive conditions. These settlers ended up distilling corn-based alcohol, which gave us the modern day drink we know and love.

To pair with this fact, we have the portrait of George Washington by Rembrandt Peale. Peale widely advertised this portrait with pamphlets including quotes from family members and friends of the president to show this was the most accurate portrayal. His advertising campaign worked, because nearly 80 versions of this portrait exist, including one hanging above the dais in the US Senate Chamber.

Richard Long, Stones of Scotland, 1979, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Nancy M. O’Boyle, 1997.154

Although many people could argue the differences between American bourbon and Irish whiskey, they are much closer in production process than you might realize. Bourbon barrels can only be used once for storing the liquor before bottling. Once those barrels have had one batch in them, some become furniture or firewood. Others are repurposed for aging either soy sauce or—most often—Scotch whiskeys made across the pond. Much like the rules and regulations keeping bourbon from being made outside the US, Scotch whiskey can only be made in Scotland. The landscape and natural materials of Scotland inspired the land artist Richard Long to create his space-specific artworks.

Cup: upside-down head, Peru, Sicán (Lambayeque), 900-1100 CE, gold, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison, 1976.W.543

When Irish immigrants settled in Kentucky, they discovered they could make corn into a sweet-tasting liquor. Even though the Irish Americans believed they had come across a new form of alcohol, many cultures in Central and South America had been making corn-based alcohol for centuries. The golden cup above is from the Sicán peoples, who lived around the Andes in Peru until around the 12th century. The vessel would have been used to drink chicha, a corn-based beer that is still made today in many areas of South America during special ceremonies.

We hope this whets your appetite to learn more about this American-made spirit. We still have a few spots open for Artful Pairings, so get your tickets here for the program on Thursday, October 4, at 7:00 p.m.

Katie Cooke is Manager of Adult Programs at the DMA.

Patches with a Purpose

The Guerrilla Girls exhibition is in its final week on view at the DMA. For the last few months, the posters, books, and videos in the gallery have prompted a lot of questions, including the often overheard “What’s the deal with the gorilla masks?”

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The Guerrilla Girls are an anonymous collective of women artists who draw attention to sexism and racism in the art world. To borrow their words, without women and people of color represented in the art world “you’re seeing less than half the picture.” Using bold protest art and guerrilla-style marketing techniques (hence their name and use of gorilla masks, as a play on words), they demonstrate how images are a powerful way to send messages to others.

Consider what is important to you. When you think about those things, is there an image or symbol that comes to mind? Taking inspiration from the Guerrilla Girls, here’s a way to broadcast that idea or cause through a DIY iron-on patch.

Materials Needed
Felt or fabric
Embroidery floss
Embroidery hoop
Tapestry needle
Scissors
HeatnBond iron-on adhesive sheet
Iron
Threader (optional)

Using the screw at the top, loosen and separate the two rings of your embroidery hoop. Load the embroidery hoop with the felt or fabric of your choice, placing the fabric on top of the smaller ring and closing the larger ring around it to hold the fabric in place.

Tip: The hoop stretches the fabric tight to create tension. If the fabric sags in the middle, pull the edges before tightening the hoop screw all the way.

Thread your needle with the first color of embroidery floss, tying off one end. Start your design from the back side of the hoop, pulling the needle straight through the fabric. Create the first stitch by pulling the needle straight back down through the fabric. When you’d like to switch colors, simply tie the floss off on the back and repeat the process.

Tip: Keeping the needle straight and avoiding pulling hard keeps the stitches even and fabric wrinkle-free. Knowing how to sew makes embroidery pretty intuitive, but different kinds of stitches create different textures and effects. DMC Embroidery has great resources for those looking to learn new techniques.  

Once you finish your design, make sure all the thread is tied off on the back, and any loose threads are trimmed.

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HeatnBond adhesive sheets will make the design into a patch. HeatnBond is two sided, with a shiny, textured plastic side and a paper side. Cut a piece of HeatnBond large enough to cover the design and place it on the backside of the fabric, with the paper side of the HeatnBond facing up. Pass an iron set on medium heat over the HeatnBond for approximately 30 seconds, ensuring that the iron passes over the edges and corners of the adhesive. Make sure that the HeatnBond is completely adhered to the fabric; no corners or edges should lift.

Once the fabric has cooled, use scissors to trim around the design. The HeatnBond seals the fabric, so no hemming is needed. After the design is cut to size, remove the paper backing from the back of the design. Underneath, the plastic should be smooth and shiny. Now the patch can be ironed onto another piece of fabric, like a jacket or backpack.

Be sure to visit The Guerrilla Girls before it closes on September 30. If you liked this project, join us at our upcoming workshops for families, teens, and adults to get your make on.

Jessica Thompson is the Manager of Teen Programs at the DMA.


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