Posts Tagged 'authors'

Let’s Get BooksmART!

 

Our literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live just announced the 2017 lineup of award-winning authors and performers, and we are just overflowing with excitement! Arts & Letters is the only literary series that is part of an art museum (that we know of!), and we love celebrating the connections between reading, writing, and art! Every year we host some wonderful children’s authors, and this year is no different. Get cozy with these books while the weather is still chilly, then come see us at the DMA to make some artful literary connections with the whole family!


the-inquisitors-tale-coverAdam Gidwitz
Sunday, February 26, 3:00 p.m.

Adam Gidwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of the Grimm trilogy. He spent six years researching his latest book, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, in which the adventures of three children take them through medieval France to escape prejudice and persecution. They save sacred texts from being burned, get taken captive by knights, face a farting dragon, and face a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel. Learn more.

Before the talk, your family can embark on a scavenger hunt exploring works of art in Art and Nature in the Middle Ages.


thumb-erin_philipsteadErin and Philip C. Stead
Tuesday, April 4, 11:30 a.m.

Erin and Philip Stead live and work side by side creating heartwarming stories such as A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Erin’s forthcoming book Tony returns to themes of friendship and loyalty with the late poet Ed Galing’s tale of a boy and his horse. Philip’s latest, Samson in the Snow, highlights the power of simple acts of kindness to bring hope and light to even the coldest world. Learn more.

Following their talk at 3:30 p.m., join us for an illustration workshop (ages 6 and older) led by Erin and Philip Stead. Advance reservations strongly recommended as space is limited.


playbookKwame Alexander
Saturday, June 10, 2:00 p.m.

New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander kicks off summer reading with his latest book, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. A strategy guide written with middle grade readers in mind but motivational for all ages, The Playbook “rules” contain wisdom from inspiring role models such as Nelson Mandela, Michelle Obama, Lebron James, and more. The author of 21 books, Alexander received the 2015 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor for his book The Crossover. Learn more.


See the entire lineup for the January-June season to see if your favorite author will be coming to town this year. Hope to see you there!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Arts & Letters Live By-the-Numbers

Each July, I travel to New York City with Carolyn Bess, the DMA’s director of programming and Arts & Letters Live, to meet with publicists at all the major publishing houses. We get a sneak peek at which authors will have new books out during the Arts & Letters Live season and who will be touring to promote their book. Arts & Letters Live relies heavily on author tours to create the best possible season line-up. Once we return from New York, we sift through our notes and prioritize a wish list of authors for the upcoming season. This past week, we were in New York for this annual planning trip. It is always a complete whirlwind. Here is a by-the-numbers look at this year’s Arts & Letters Live season planning trip (along with a few photos from our journey):
2 tickets to New York
5 days
30 meetings with
50 publicists
97 pages of notes
380+ books pitched
1 unforgettable season (check the DMA’s website this fall for the season announcement!)

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Katie Hutton is the Program Manager of Arts & Letters Live at the DMA.

Costumes from the Collection

Every year I struggle to think of a creative new Halloween costume to wear. Oftentimes the month somehow escapes me and I end up recycling one of my old costumes: a cat, witch, or something with a mask. However, this year I realized that inspiration is all around me in the DMA galleries. As I wandered through the Museum this month, I was flooded with images of myself as a fierce Hindu goddess with multiple arms, an affluent Asante chief covered with gold, or even a mummy wrapped in linen. Excited by all the endless possibilities, I decided to ask my fellow authors which artwork they would choose to base a Halloween costume on.

Amanda Batson

“Amanda Panda” drew her inspiration for a Halloween costume from the Banquete chair with pandas.
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Jessica Fuentes

“I would be Marcel Dzama’s The Minotaur. The sculpture already lends itself to a costume as there appears to be a person underneath the Minotaur’s mask-like head and the white cloth.  I like that the Minotaur should be a scary creature, but it looks defeated as it is portrayed here, with one horn, one arm, and one leg.  I also like that the artist includes the artist tools, paint brushes in a can, I think it would be fun to walk around as this character with all of the accessories.”
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Andrea Severin

Andrea created a headpiece inspired by our new Karla Black installation.
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Artie

Andrea’s adorable dog Artie also wanted to dress up!
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Hannah Burney

As for me, I decided to base my costume on the spooky gorgon head featured on the inside of this Black-figure kylix. In Greek mythology gorgons are treacherous female creatures that have snakes for hair and can turn anyone who looks them in the eye to stone.

Hannah Burney
Community Teaching Programs Assistant

Artworks used:

  • Banquete chair with pandas, Fernando Campana and Humberto Campana, 2006, stuffed animals on steel base, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund
  • Bird-form finial, Zenú culture, South America, Colombia, c. A.D. 500-1500, 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, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison
  • Black-figure kylix, Greek, Attic, 6th century B.C., ceramic, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil H. Green
  • Necessity, Karla Black, 2012, cellophane, sellotape, paint, body moisturisers and cosmetics, Courtesy Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London and Galerie Gisele Captain, Cologne
  • The Minotaur, Marcel Dzama, 2008, plaster, gauze, rope, fabric, chair, bucket, and paintbrushes, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

DMA Dinner Guests

As educators in the museum, we get the wonderful opportunity to spend lots of time with the collection. So much so that the art works begin to feel like family. And just like in every family, there are plenty of characters. From the silly to the serious, emotional to adventurous, happy to sad, all the subjects in our collection have a lot of personality. With Thanksgiving coming up, I began to wonder what it would be like to have all of these quirky individuals come together for a Thanksgiving feast. Naturally, there were some I would be more excited about having in my home than others; after all, there’s a black sheep in every family.

So I decided to ask the other authors who in our collection they would invite to Thanksgiving dinner?

Here were their responses:

Sarah Coffey:

I would welcome the Banquete chair with pandas to my Thanksgiving dinner. I imagine this lovely lady to be so warm, playful, and inviting, that she’d be sure to get along with everyone. Also, if we ran out of seats at the table, I just know she would offer up herself.

Banquete chair with pandas, Fernando Campana and Humberto Campana, 2006, stuffed animals on steel base, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2009.9

Melissa Nelson:

I would invite the Indonesian couple from the video installation The World Won’t Listen by Phil Collins.  Not only do they sing one of my favorite songs by The SmithsThere is a Light That Never Goes Out – but they also seem like they would be really cool people.  I like their style, and I love the way they sing this somewhat dark love song as a duet.

The world won't listen, Phil Collins, 2005, synchronized three-channel color video projection with sound, Dallas Museum of Art, Gayle and Paul Stoffel Fund for Contemporary Art and gift of Marguerite Steed Hoffman, 2008.12.2.A-M

Amy Copeland:

I’d invite Still Life with Landscape for dinner, and Yinka Shonibare’s Un Ballo in Maschera for dramatic entertainment.

I think that I would invite Shiva Nataraja because he would be the best at passing around my favorite Thanksgiving dishes with all those arms!

Shiva Nataraja, 11th century, bronze, Chola dynasty, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamon Charitable Foundation, and an anonymous donor in honor of David T. Owsley, with additional funding from The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation and the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund, 2000.377

I don’t know who I would invite to Thanksgiving dinner, but I can tell you who I wouldn’t invite: the Xipe Impersonator.  He wears the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim until it rots off, and I wouldn’t want his stench overpowering the yummy smells of turkey and pumpkin pie!

Xipe impersonator, Aztec culture, Late Postclassic period c. A.D. 1350-1521, volcanic stone, shell, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the McDermott Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, 1973.65

Loryn Leonard:

I would invite That Gentleman in Andrew Wyeth’s painting.  That Gentleman reminds me of my grandfather: someone who was oftentimes quiet, but when compelled to speak, his words were profound. I can imagine the interesting stories he would tell about his life, and maybe even past Thanksgivings. It would be an honor to share stories and a Thanksgiving feast with That Gentleman, for that is what Thanksgiving is all about, sharing.

That Gentleman, Andrew Wyeth, 1960, tempera on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1962.27

Nicole Stutzman:

I would enjoy having the presence of Tlaloc at my Thanksgiving table for several reasons.  First, he’s really old and he’s a god. That’s pretty cool.  He’s “been around the bush” as they say and I suspect he may have some harrowing and interesting stories to share about his impact on the weather and agriculture.  Because of this, I imagine him to be someone who really knows and understands thankfulness.  Second, I would just love to look at him with that crown, the nose decoration, and those serpents in his ears.  And technically, he has no body.  Would he just hover at the table?  Third, I have no doubt that he would bring some delicious maize dish to share.  Corn pudding perhaps, or corn bread.  Mmmm…

Head of the rain god Tlaloc, North America, Mexico, Teotitlan del Camino, A.D. 1300-1500, ceramic, tufa, stucco, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus in memory of Mary Freiberg, 1967.5

Hannah Burney:

As for me, I would invite The Reveler. As the life of the party, this goofy fun-loving party animal would keep all of my guests dancing, laughing, and having a good time.

The Reveler (Le Festoyeur), Jean Dubuffet, 1964, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark, 1966.14

 Who would you invite?

Wishing you a yummy Thanksgiving!

McDermott Intern for Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Backstage with Arts & Letters Live

Many people have asked me, “How do you plan Arts & Letters Live?” Here’s a glimpse into the process of how we “produced” this year’s series.

In July DMA colleagues Helen Seslowsky, Katie Hutton, and I spent five days in a very hot and humid New York meeting with nearly forty publicists from all the major publishing houses to learn the scoop about new book releases on the horizon for 2011. When we got back to Dallas, we met for about twelve hours to prioritize our wish list of authors and brainstorm about books whose themes resonate with the Museum’s upcoming exhibitions and collections installations. For example, Mexico’s renowned novelist Carlos Fuentes is coming to speak while the exhibition Tierra y Gente: Modern Mexican Works on Paper is on view. In March two biographers will share new insights into the lives of artists Lee Krasner and Amedeo Modigliani, both of whom have works in the Museum’s collections.

Throughout the year, we also travel to hear authors speak at several prominent book fairs—the Texas Book Festival in Austin, the National Book Festival in D.C., and the New Yorker Festival in Manhattan—to discover which authors speak as beautifully from the stage as they do on the page. I heard Annie Proulx, Simon Schama, Pico Iyer, Gary Shteyngart, and others at a variety of these festivals while planning the 2011 season and knew I wanted to pursue them.

From my front row seat at Steve Carell's interview with Tad Friend at the New Yorker Festival. At the 2010 festival, I also heard authors Tobias Wolff and Mary Karr, E. L. Doctorow, Atul Gawande, Yo-Yo Ma in conversation with Alex Ross, and Simon Schama and Annie Proulx -- both of whom we're bringing to Dallas as part of the 2011 season!

And because we want a season of events that will appeal to many people, we book (pun intended) a balance of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, and programs that combine art forms in creative and unexpected ways. In February we’ll feature Eric Siblin, author of The Cello Suites, who will share the story behind Bach’s missing manuscript, its rediscovery, and his own infatuation with this music. To give this evening added flair, we’re partnering with the Dallas Bach Society, and their cellist Gyongy Erody will perform musical excerpts to bring this story to life.

Our next step is to send out proposals to the publishers and anxiously await their responses. The process is like putting together a complex jigsaw puzzle—discerning which authors and performers are available and when. There’s been many a time when a requested author wants to come to Dallas, but he’s scheduled to be on the West Coast at the same time we want him to be here in Texas.

Katie Hutton (Interim Head, Arts & Letters Live) at The Library Hotel's rooftop bar after a long, but fruitful day of meetings with publicists in New York. The team enjoyed "Red Badge of Courage" cocktails!

Throughout the summer and early fall, we also spend at least one day every week vetting short stories for our Texas Bound series, where Texas actors read short fiction by Texas writers. Lone Star State–connected authors from all over the country submitted nearly two hundred stories for consideration. Our team reads them and brings the strongest contenders to read-aloud sessions with our director Raphael Parry, who many people know as the Executive and Artistic Director of Shakespeare Dallas. We debate the merits and potential shortcomings of each story. Does it hook the audience’s attention and follow a cohesive narrative arc, or does it lag in the middle? What actor do we imagine bringing the story to life? Constructing a program of three or four stories is like creating a chef’s tasting menu—a short, funny appetizer followed by a hearty, more serious entrée, and finally, a dessert.

Arts & Letters Live will celebrate its 20th anniversary season in 2011! I’ve been with the series nine of those years. It’s heartwarming to hear vivid recollections from many of you—what an author said to change your perspective or transport you out of the everyday. Or the “aha” moment you had in the middle of a performance combining art, music, and poetry. I hope you’ll share your favorite Arts & Letters Live moments by commenting on this post. Check out our exciting 2011 season lineup here!

Carolyn Bess is the Director of Programming at the Dallas Museum of Art.


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