Posts Tagged 'Art Spot'

Volunteering is smART!

Center for Creative Connections volunteer

The DMA is fortunate to have a committed group of volunteers who are dedicated to ensuring our educational programs succeed. If you want to get more involved at the DMA, We are currently recruiting new volunteers for the Center for Creative Connections, Go van Gogh school outreach program, and the Arts & Letters Live speaker series. A formal background in art or art education is not required, we simply seek individuals who are passionate about serving the Dallas community! There is a volunteer opportunity for all interests, so read on for details about each opening.

In the Center for Creative Connections, we seek volunteers who enjoy interacting with the public. C3 volunteers welcome and engage visitors in conversations about art and art making in the Art Spot. C3 volunteers also have the chance to take the  C3 experience to other galleries as a Pop-Up Art Spot facilitator. Volunteers are asked to serve two shifts per month, approximately seven hours, and must attend an orientation session.

Go van Gogh volunteers help teach art programs in elementary classrooms across the city. They encourage students to look closely at works of art in the Museum’s collection and get involved in hands-on art making projects. Interested volunteers must be available to attend bi-monthly training sessions on Tuesday mornings and are asked to teach two weekday programs per month from late September to mid-May.

If you love literature, then becoming an Arts & Letters Live volunteer may be the choice for you! Arts & Letters Live volunteers support speaker events, including BooksmART programs for young readers, by serving as ticket takers, greeters, ushers, and book signing assistants. New volunteers will attend an orientation session in December before the the 2018 season begins.

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Visit our Volunteer page for applications and additional information about each of these volunteer programs or email volunteers@dma.org with any questions. We hope you’ll join us!

Andi Orkin
Volunteer Coordinator for Programming

Friday Photos: C3 Art Spot

The Center for Creative Connections is undergoing some changes! Next week new works of art and new activities will be unveiled. One of those changes will be at the C3 Art Spot. For years, visitors have come to C3 and made small sculptures out of everyday materials like cardboard, plastic spoons, and twist ties.

Starting next week, visitors to the C3 Art Spot can get inspired by these works of art from the permanent collection and use magnetic wooden blocks to imagine and build devices for communication. Check out these devices created by visitors and staff:

What will you make the next time you stop by the C3 Art Spot? We can’t wait to see!

Jessica Fuentes
Manager of Gallery Interpretation and the Center for Creative Connections

Friday Photos: Art Spot Creations

Over the last few months, we’ve been mixing up all kinds of fun and recyclable materials for visitors to create with at the Art Spot in the Center for Creative Connections. When selecting materials, we carefully consider the broad range of artworks from the DMA’s collection featured in the cases amongst the creation tables. Having a variety of styles, influences, and cultures reflected in these works will in turn help inspire unique creations (or re-creations!) from visitors of all ages. From cardboard tubes and popsicle sticks to colorful masking tape and aluminum foil, there are endless ways to be inspired! Check out some of our recent visitor creations inspired by the works of art currently on view:

Next time you’re in C3, sit at the Art Spot for a little while and consider how you can transform these ordinary materials into something extraordinary.

Kerry Butcher
Center for Creative Connections Coordinator

The Creative Spiral

The creative process is often described as cyclical, and sometimes, when I’m in it, I feel like I am going around in circles, ending up where I started. I always hope that when I come back around in that circular process, my ideas have evolved so that even though I may be in a familiar place, I am truly somewhere new. Perhaps the creative process is more like a spiral, repetitious yet constantly moving forward. This concept not only illustrates an important artistic process that we want to share with visitors to the Center for Creative Connections (C3) but also describes the methods we employ as our space evolves. The creative process is an inspirational component of C3, and it is exemplified through the Art Spot, a hands-on art-making area.

A Brief History

 

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In 2008, the hands-on art-making area within the C3 exhibition Materials and Meanings was called the Materials Bar, which provided a hands-on experience of the creative process, engaging visitors with an inspiration wheel, videos that modeled techniques, materials that encouraged play, and a reflective label writing component. In 2010, C3 presented its second exhibition, Encountering Space, which involved a complete redesign of the entire C3 and transformed the Materials Bar into the Space Bar, which included prompts for the hands-on art-making experience. In 2012, the hands-on area was renamed the Art Spot: Anytime art-making for everyone, and it focuses on rotating works in the C3 galleries or the idea of creativity.

Commonalities and Spiraling Forward
For me, the creative process can be simplified to four steps: inspiration, exploration, creation, and reflection. With each iteration of the making area in C3, we come full circle. We start with an idea—a theme like materials, space, creativity, or a work of art; next we explore the possibilities of that idea and play with what it might look like; then we construct it for visitors to experience; and finally we reflect on the actual visitor experience. Over the years, the various iterations are in many ways similar, but with each new endeavor we learn and revise.

Martin Delabano's Family Portrait behind sea of visitors

Martin Delabano’s Family Portrait behind a sea of visitors

In the past, we strived to inspire participants with the art on view in C3, though we found this can be difficult when the works of art are not directly adjacent to the making area. In the upcoming redesign, we are installing more works of art in the Art Spot and are strategically placing them near the tables where participants will be creating. The cases housing these works will have prompts directly on the glass to provoke thought and discussion about the materials, design, and process. These kinds of prompts can help visitors get into the making mindset, a way of critically looking at and exploring materials.

Also, our approach to choosing works of art has shifted. In the past, we chose works of art that exemplified a concept and might inspire visitors to create. This time we are taking our inspiration from our visitors. Over the past few years, we have documented the kinds of creations made at the Art Spot. We know that regardless of the theme or materials, there are common items that are made: rings, animals, flowers, hats, and woven objects. So we started with those observations and chose works of art, such as those featured below, that visitors might more easily relate to and that had some evidence of both the materials and the method of making.

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Finally, we will continue to encourage the creation of three-dimensional objects, but rather than having one set of materials, we will offer different materials at different stations that relate to the nearby works of art. This will offer some variety and give visitors more options.

Looking Ahead
When the Art Spot reopens next week, we will continue to ask for visitor input, because being an experimental space means that we are constantly evolving through the creative process. We will document the creations visitors make, read the reflective statements they write, talk with them about the works of art, the materials, their creations, and their overall experience to get a sense of what aspects of the new design are working and what we might revise. Stop by the Center for Creative Connections this summer to see the redesigned Art Spot, be inspired by the newly installed works of art, make a creation, and give us your feedback!

Jessica Fuentes is the Center for Creative Connections Gallery Manager at the DMA.

Friday Photos: Textual Awareness

From ancient Asian scrolls to Islamic lamps and Egyptian hieroglyphs–text has appeared in art for centuries. Fast forward to our contemporary world, where text, serving as a mode of communication, is also part of our visual culture. Artists cleverly use text in a variety of ways, sometimes bold and direct, other times subtle.

In the Center for Creative Connections (C3), February through May is all about TEXT. Here are two ways you can participate at the Museum or at home:

1. Visit the C3 Art Spot to explore text through hands-on art making. Fold, cut, and manipulate magazines and newspapers to create your own text-based sculptures.

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2. Have your photos featured on the monitor wall in C3 by submitting your text-themed photographs to our Flickr Group, DMA Textual Awareness.

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Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

Friday Photos: C3 Summer Interns

The Center for Creative Connections (C3) staff was fortunate to receive help from two high school students this summer.  Sophie Anthony, a rising senior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, spent eight weeks working with us through the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program.  Chloe Barreau will be a junior at the Chinese International School in Hong Kong.  She worked with C3 during a month-long visit with family.  Below are some of their experiences from this summer.

A good sense of humor is a requirement for interning with C3

Sophie and Chloe served as the first models for a photo backdrop that connects to Nic Nicosia’s photograph titled Vacation, currently on view in C3

Sophie:

Wow.  I did not realize how fast eight weeks would fly by. My internship at the DMA has been amazing — art-filled and action-packed.  Through the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program, I got a behind-the-scenes peek into the day-to-day running of the biggest (and still expanding) art museum in town.  What a thrill!  As a high school art student, it was exciting just to be in the same building as some of the beautiful and breathtaking masterpieces housed in the Museum, not to mention the opportunity to enhance visitors’ experience with these works.  Working with visitors in C3  and behind the scenes gave me the chance to assist and interact with regular art patrons and newcomers alike, as well as see firsthand the DMA’s commitment to art education and visitor participation.

A lot of my time spent as a C3 intern was, of course, spent in C3!  C3 is a hotspot for most Museum visitors — nearly everyone who enters is excited by the relaxed and hands-on atmosphere, and leaves with their own Art Spot creation.  An extension of the C3 atmosphere is the Pop-up Art Spot, a cart filled with activities that moves through the galleries on a weekly basis.  It allows museum-goers a chance to participate with works of art more closely and see things they might not have noticed before.  Both C3 and the Pop-up Art Spot were a lot of fun because I was able to chat with visitors and learn their thoughts and perceptions on art pieces and the DMA.  I met people who had been going to the DMA for the past twenty years and people who had never visited an art museum before.  But it wasn’t all conversations — there are always plenty of supplies to be prepped!

One of my favorite projects was the July Late Night Creations activity, the “Curious Case of the Mystery Painting.”  Chloe and I made and designed the materials for the activity and wrote (not to mention re-wrote) the instructions for this mystery-themed collaborative art project.  We chose the two “mystery” paintings that would be recreated and then, after much multiplication, we gridded out the artworks into two-inch squares, which would be “clues” that participants would recreate on bigger pieces of cardboard.  Slowly, piece of cardboard by piece of cardboard, the paintings would be revealed.  The hardest part of creating this project was writing the instructions.  Chloe and I quickly learned the value of one word instead of two, realizing that the shorter and more concise, the better.  We wrote and rewrote numerous drafts until we eliminated all extraneous details and arrived at the instructions used during Late Night Creations.  When I came to work the next day and saw the final masterpieces, I was astounded.  The visitors did an amazing job in recreating the mystery paintings!  Below are the activity instructions; scroll down to see the activity in progress and completed.

All too quickly these past eight weeks have sped by.  I can’t believe how much I’ve learned, how much I’ve seen, how much I’ve done here at the DMA.  My experiences have been widely varied—I now know both how to write a set of instructions for a community art project and the most efficient way of cutting cardboard for the Art Spot.  I helped individuals with Alzheimer’s discuss pieces of art in Meaningful Moments and went behind the scenes to see exhibits go up and come down.  I became an old pro at screenprinting T-shirts through assisting with the Design Studio summer art camp and listened as teens made soundscapes based on The Museum is History exhibition during a UA Maker Club workshop.  I am so appreciative and thankful for my internship—the DMA, specifically C3, gave me a wide and varied experience in a field of work I would love to pursue.  I learned so much this summer and I’m looking forward to volunteering in C3 soon!

Chloe:

My internship experience at the DMA this summer has taught me so much about different ways in which we can enhance our appreciation of art.

I first spent two weeks assisting the New World Kids 2 summer art camp.  The classes encouraged children to create art books and stop-motion clips as well as develop back stories behind why their characters lived where they lived and the motivations behind what their characters were doing.  It was exciting for me to see how the program inspired children to construct elaborate plots and plan out each scene as if they were budding directors or playwrights.  I believe that walking children through the process of creating a story is an effective way to introduce them to the appreciation of art.  In thinking about how they would design film sets, direct the acting, and develop the characters and sub-plots, children open their minds to a wider breadth in their interpretation of art.

All great artworks have a background story, a history to the subject matter, and a thought process behind the composition. This was illustrated in the European gallery, where I had the chance to admire the art alongside our visitors, thanks to the new Pop-up Art Spot. There, visitors have fun dressing up in costumes, making gesture drawings and writing dialogues for characters using magnetic words. Each painting presents a narrative, and the visitors participate in this narrative by coordinating their facial expressions, clothing, body pose, and setting with the artwork’s composition. At this Pop-up Art Spot, I saw how these activities enlivened the experience of visitors viewing the art pieces and inspired them to imagine the story behind the art.  I see that art is not only to be admired, but to be experienced in full immersion.  We are not only audiences, but participants.

Speaking of participation in art – at July’s Late Night, Sophie and I were excited to see visitors’ reception to the “Curious Case of the Mysterious Painting” activity we worked on together.  We were thrilled that people enthusiastically lined up for their turn to contribute a clue by taking a section of an artwork poster and enlarging it on a piece of cardboard using paint. The next day I saw the mystery artworks that were recreated with the public’s contribution – the mosaics of the pieces came to life, with a beauty that can only come from a community of “artists” collaborating together for a night!

Razor LNC grid

The grid for one painting with a few squares to get it started

Visitors LNC

Visitors add to the grid

 

Bougival LNC in progress

The other painting grid, in progress

 

I have discovered that telling a story is core to the purpose of art. An artwork is a mode of communication across time, even across dynasties and cultures, and artists create an extension of themselves and share with us a part of their being.

I am really grateful for the opportunity this summer to intern at C3! The department was very welcoming, and the staff took care to educate us while giving us leeway to express ourselves and take initiative.  I loved meeting diverse people, from the speakers to the audience and members of the museum – everyday was a pleasure, and I have fond memories of my interactions and experience to bring home with me back to Hong Kong!

Thank you, Sophie and Chloe, for your very hard work this summer!  We will miss seeing your smiling faces every day.

 C3 Staff

 

The 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

As an environmentally conscious artist, I find myself often thinking about the amount of waste that can be created during the art making process. The quantity of paper that I use for sketching and writing ideas for future projects is staggering in itself. As an art educator it can sometimes be even more daunting. I consider the amount of supplies that I alone use and then multiply that by the number of visitors we see in C3. So in an effort to be a little more green for Earth Day, I chose recycled/recyclable materials for the current C3 Art Spot theme.

Though some of these materials were purchased, much of the cardboard we have been using at the Art Spot has been donated by DMA employees. Admittedly, when I put out new supplies, I was curious and anxious to see what our visitors would make. As usual, the creativity of our visitors has been astounding! The creations have included animals, robots, and vehicles, just to name a few.

When I chose these materials, I was hoping to perhaps help visitors see what kinds of beautiful, creative things they could make with items they may typically take for granted. An added bonus has been hearing from the DMA staff who have donated their recycling. It has been a joy for them to see their recyclables transformed into works of art! Check out more of our visitors’ creations on our Flickr page.

Perhaps this Earth Day you can take some time to reconsider your art materials and make a recycled masterpiece!

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

 


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