Posts Tagged 'Arturo'

Friday Photos: Arturo’s Fixer Upper

Did you know that Arturo’s Nest (the Museum’s play space just for children 0-4 years old) is nine years old?! The first kids to step foot in this beloved space have long since outgrown it!

When the space opened in 2008, it was a new experiment for the Dallas Museum of Art, and a visible symbol that we love little kids here at the Museum. Since that time, this small room has had a BIG impact. It is one of the most visited spots in the Museum for children and families, and you can almost always hear squeals of laughter trickling out from the room.

A few weeks ago, we closed Arturo’s Nest to give it a much-deserved redesign. Chip & Joanna Gaines didn’t visit, but our crack team of designers, educators, and carpenters worked their own “fixer upper” magic and gave the Nest a whole new look.

Ready to see what we’ve done? How about we first take a look at where we’ve been.

Arturo’s Nest in 2008

Arturo’s Nest in 2010

And…drum roll please…Arturo’s Nest in 2017!

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What do you think? One of my favorite parts of the design is that we see both a daytime and a nighttime view of Arturo’s home. And that fun polka dot carpet will make it so much more comfy for kids to sit down and play.

We’ll be adding even more features in the months to come, so be sure to come visit throughout the summer.

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Arturo can’t wait to see you!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs

On the Bookshelves

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Flowers are blooming, buds are popping out on the trees, and I’ve rounded up a fresh crop of excellent picture book art pairings that will put a spring in your step! From a blissfully confident giant squid to those witty talking crayons, here are four must-reads to add to your bookshelves. Each has Arturo’s seal of approval!

Giant Squid is pretty proud of everything he can draw. In fact, he thinks he is the BEST artist in the ocean. But a grumpy shark has a very different point of view. Squid’s clever solution to what could be a (shall we say uncomfortable?) situation will make young readers laugh, while caregivers may notice the illustrator’s sly nod to Picasso’s cubist style.

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I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry is a perfect pairing with our beautiful Tiffany windows. Search for starfish, sea anemones, jellyfish, and even eels, while imagining what Giant Squid would think of the jewel-like glass. At home, make Giant Squid proud with your own squid art!

“Friends shape who we are,” and square, rectangle, circle and triangle are the best of pals. They play together, they support each other, and even when they squabble with each other, they know that their friendship is what matters most.

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Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld is one of those books that puts a smile on your face and warms your heart. The seemingly simple illustrations are bursting with personality and are a perfect way to show young artists how shapes can work together in different configurations to create all kinds of pictures. One particular page spread shows the friends as a rocket blasting off to the moon, and even without the text, children instinctively understand what the illustrator has done. Read this delightful book in the Decorative Arts gallery and take a closer look at the Marshmallow sofa to see how circles have been transformed into a stylish place to sit. At home, download this printable and make your own shapes into the loveable characters from the book.

One of my favorite signs of spring is the birds chirping outside my window each morning. In Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix, we see not only birds outside the window, but apples hanging from the tree, worms munching through an apple, a birdhouse being built, and a basket for gathering apples.

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The genius of this book is clever cut-outs that transform into new pictures with the turn of a page. As with Friendshape, readers will discover how shapes become something more with a little bit of creativity. The bold, bright illustrations are inviting and the cut-outs will have children eagerly turning the pages to see what happens next. Why not bring this book along with you for a quick visit to Apple Harvest by Camille Pissarro? Then at home pull out the tried-and-true apple printing project to create your own apple art. This helpful post from the TinkerLab blog has great suggestions for setting up an apple printing station at home.

You might have thought that after Duncan’s crayons famously quit, that would be the last we’d hear of them. But they are up to their crazy antics again, and this time, all they want to do is come home! Tan crayon was eaten by the dog, Maroon crayon got lost in the couch, and Neon Red crayon was left behind at a hotel on summer vacation. In their postcards to Duncan, each crayon laments their troubles and either whines, wheedles, or begs for him to rescue them. Well, all except Neon Red who has set out on its own to find a way back in The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt.

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I’d like to think that the crayons would have a ball anywhere in the Museum, but it would be especially fun to visit places Neon Red sees on the journey home. New Jersey (according to Neon Red) has some great pyramids, but we all know that Ancient Egypt is the place to be for pyramids, mummies, and more. Visit our Ancient Egypt gallery and imagine Neon Red roaming through on a camel!

And for all the crayon-lovers out there, don’t miss the chance to hear Drew Daywalt talk about his colorful characters in person here at the DMA on May 22–get your tickets here!

Happy reading!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

 

Friday Photos: Arturo Flies the Coup!

My internship is made up of many programs, tasks, and joys, but one of its main focuses is our Go Van Gogh program, which helps the Museum take art lessons into schools all over our community. Every week I drive the van to schools in Dallas to help teach students about artworks in the DMA’s permanent collection, and when we’re done we do an art project inspired by the lesson.

This week, after many weeks of begging and bargaining, I let Arturo drive the van to Lake Highlands Elementary School to observe our Stories in Art program! He asked to fly, but the supplies were a little too heavy for his wings, so I figured his pilot’s license would do on the Dallas highways. Here is a documented look at Arturo’s van day!

 

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To learn more about Go Van Gogh or to schedule a visit to your classroom, check out our website!

Whitney Sirois
McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Arturo’s Bird-Day Bash

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At this week’s First Tuesday, we threw the biggest bird-day bash around for our loveable family mascot Arturo, and hundreds of toddlers and preschoolers came to help us celebrate!

Our party guests enjoyed a bird-themed puppet show, made paper bird sculptures in the studio, and searched the Museum’s galleries for more bird friends hiding in the art.

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And the best surprise of all–the children made birthday cards for Arturo!

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And he couldn’t be happier! Happy birthday Arturo!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

Summing Up

Today’s post is coming to you from the beyond…

… beyond the internship, that is, as my last day as the McDermott Education Intern for Family and Access Teaching was this past Friday. While cleaning out my desk, wrapping up remaining projects, and getting those last few classes in, I had the opportunity to take stock of everything that went into the 49.5 weeks I spent at the Museum. Of course, what began as idle curiosity (I wonder how many Arturo Letters I’ve actually answered…) became a challenge to see if I could do the math on the past year. Here’s what I have:

  • 200+ Arturo Letters received without an address to respond to
  • 150+ classes co-taught
  • 50+ art projects tested
  • 31 parent handouts designed
  • 20 gallery activity sheets created
  • 12 books checked out from (and returned to) the Mayer Library
  • 10 school tours given
  • 10 blog posts written (including this one and one on the DMA Uncrated blog)
  • 7 fellow McDermott Interns befriended
  • 1 fantastic replacement intern hired (watch out for Emily come September!) and
  • 1 FAST (Family, Access, Schools and Teachers) team that made all the difference

Though each statistic helped me grow (yes, even the 9,145 Family Guides), this list doesn’t come close to conveying the impact these 346 days spent as a McDermott Intern have had on me. At every turn, someone in the Museum was there with a smile or encouraging word. I got to know the museum of my childhood in an entirely new light. I learned as much from the audiences I worked with as they (hopefully) learned from me. I made true friends and recognized a career I have a real passion for. I also got very good at unjamming printers (yes, because of the 9,145 Family Guides).

To sum up my sentiments at the end of this blog post–and the end of my internship–I figure it’s only appropriate to add one final figure to my list:

  • 1,000,000 thank you’s, best wishes, and see you soon’s –

Jennifer Sheppard
2014-2015 McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Arturo’s Magical Mail: Redux

Santa’s mailbox may see a lot of action leading up to December, but our own celebrity here at the Museum gets mail all year long–our family mascot, Arturo!

Amelia Wood, last year’s McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching, wrote a post in February about how magical sending and receiving mail can be, especially in the form of letters to Arturo. As we start wrapping up 2014, I think it’s only fitting to share some of the highlights from the year since then–a “best of” Arturo Letters, if you will.

What strikes me most about these letters is always how open and loving the messages are. Sometimes it’s an assortment of pencil scribbles with the child’s name and age (these are usually parent-written: from Sophie, age three, or Mikey, two years old) included at the bottom. Sometimes the sender chooses to use art instead of words. Sometimes the message takes up the whole page; sometimes it is short and sweet. Often, the child simply wants to tell Arturo “Thank you” or “I love you.”

Many days I’m surprised by the insightful questions that these children ask. How does Arturo write his letters? (Feathers make it difficult to hold a pencil, so he has a human friend that helps him write and draw pictures!) Or how do you explain why Arturo, a male bird, has eggs in his nest? Why, he’s a great babysitter, of course!

Arturo also hopes the eggs will hatch soon, Kinner! It will be great to have some new bird friends to play with.

Arturo also hopes the eggs will hatch soon, Kinner! It will be great to have some new bird friends to play with.

The creativity that this simple act of exchanging messages draws out is absolutely magical. Amelia loved “imagining the excitement as children discovered a response from Arturo,” and I’m just as excited to receive their letters in the first place. I’m in for an adventure every time I go to collect the latest crop from that little red and yellow mailbox – there will be some new question, some sharing of an experience in the galleries, or some imaginative drawing that I haven’t encountered yet.

For now, I’ll leave you with one of Arturo’s and my favorite letters yet–a rare, purely parent-written one. Signed only as “Papa Bird,” this touching drawing reminds us of our own families.

"Being a Dad is a Real Adventure - Love, Papa Bird"

“Being a Dad is a Real Adventure – Love, Papa Bird”

So as we head into the holidays, whichever one you may celebrate, don’t forget to give your loved ones a great big bird hug…

…or if they’re too far away to hug in person, a piece of wonderful, magical mail should do nicely.

Jennifer Sheppard
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

New Family Fun: Arturo’s Library Totes

If you’re a regular blog follower, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I love picture books {proof here, here, and here}. So it should be no surprise that I’ve been working on getting more picture books into the hands of our visitors! I think stories and art are perfect partners, especially for young children and am thrilled to announce the launch of a new gallery activity for families here at the DMA. Drum roll please… announcing Arturo’s Library totes!

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Arturo’s Library totes can best be described as a storytime-to-go. The totes are designed particularly for families with children ages two to five, and include a picture book, a deck of activity cards, and materials for hands-on activities.

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With our friendly mascot Arturo as your guide, you can take the tote into the Museum galleries and use the contents to explore a specific work of art. The debut Arturo’s Library tote is all about lines—wiggly, squiggly, zig zaggy, straight lines—and coordinates with Place de la Concorde, by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.

Piet Mondrian, Place de la Concorde, 1938-1943, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation

Piet Mondrian, Place de la Concorde, 1938-1943, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation

Using the bag is simple—find the work of art in the galleries, plop down on the floor, and try one of the suggested activities in the activity card deck. There are four categories to choose from—READ, LOOK, PLAY, and LEARN MORE.

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Lines that Wiggle by Candace Whitman is one of my favorite books to use when talking about lines in art. The illustrations are cheerful, bright and sometimes silly, and the text has a beautiful rhythm to it.

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After reading the book, you and your child can LOOK at the lines in the Mondrian painting and compare and contrast the artist’s lines to those you found in the book.

If you’re in the mood for drawing, follow the directions on one of the PLAY cards and create your own Mondrian-inspired masterpiece or try your hand at a squiggle drawing.

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If you’re more of a 3D type of artist, use pipe cleaners to craft a squiggle sculpture to take home with you.

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Then take some time to learn a little more about Piet Mondrian and his unique painting style.

Each activity has minimal instructions, is easy to dive right into, and offers a fun way to spend a little more time with a work of art. Over the next year or so, we’ll introduce new book themes and new activities, so that you can explore the Museum from top to bottom. Is one of your favorite books up next? Cast your vote to let us know which book you would be most excited to see next in an Arturo’s Library tote!

On your next visit to the DMA, be sure to stop by our Family Fun Cart at the main museum entrance and check out one of the new Arturo’s Library totes!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

 

 


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