Posts Tagged 'C3 visiting artist'



C3 Visiting Artist: David Herman

Through the C3 Visiting Artist Program, the Center for Creative Connections invites local and national artists from a variety of disciplines to participate in the development and facilitation of educational programs and spaces offered at the DMA. Most recently, we invited conceptual artist, educator, and co-founder of Preservation LINK, David Herman, to lead the January Late Night Art Bytes program and create content for the #DMAdigitalspot, the video display wall in our gallery. David is currently a Ph.D. student in Visual Culture Studies at the University of North Texas, and I sat down with him to talk about his work.

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Tell us about yourself.

That’s always an interesting question to be asked. I am a fairly mild mannered individual who appreciates the idea of careful consideration. When I reflect on my work, my friendships, and the things I’m most fond of they all seem to ascribe to this notion in one way or another. Life is most interesting when I’m able to engage with the surface of things to gain insight on their complexities. Most of the time this requires a sort of “pulling back” so that the richness and value of things can begin to show themselves.

For the January Late Night, you hosted Late Night Art Bytes, which highlights how artists use art and technology. You led a drop-in experience where visitors responded to prompts about the state of the world today and the future through collaborative collage. Technology came into play through your documentation of the night. You photographed the collages as they evolved over the course of three hours and those images were displayed on the #DMAdigitalspot monitors. What was the inspiration for this program? 

A large part of the inspiration, from the very beginning, was the idea of “shared thinking.” Collaborative work is an interest of mine. Ideas are always enriched when there is divergence and an openness to let things evolve into themselves. I really wanted to use aspects of collage and mixed media that involved visual culture, images from our contemporary mass-mediated lives such as magazines, to have a conversation about the world we live in.

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How does this visual conversation fit within the bigger picture of your work?  

Well, I like to think about how people “see” the world. How people use visual content to interpret and understand context. We live in such a visually stimulated society where most of the information we experience–as creators or consumers–comes in bits and pieces of imagery. Images are embedded throughout our lives as a sort of “hyper” extension of what is real and what is possible. The Late Night Art Bytes conversation really provided me with an opportunity to experience how people respond and share their views of the world through the visual culture “art-i-facts” they created. It was their attentiveness to all the various images and materials that confronted them that I found most useful to how I think about my own work.

My current work is all about “looking” and “being with” images. I am interested in how individuals contend with all the images they have to manage at every juncture of life. It is certainly an interest in visual literacy, however it goes well outside of just literacy. It really is about our attentiveness to the images around us and what images are seen and which ones go unnoticed. Today images seem to have a life of their own in very unique ways.

Often, contemporary images are sensationalized as a method of gaining our attention. Selfies have to be staged, colors have to be super vibrant, and images have to “appear” when we demand them. I’m not opposed to the hyper-ness of our contemporary mode of apprehending images (or images apprehending us), however I do believe that this kind of “being” with images leaves us with less opportunities to experience the natural world. In other words, seeing and being with “everyday” images become a part of a background noise that we become inattentive to. They become a part of an obscured view – and with that we lose a little bit of humanity.

What do you think visitors got out of the experience?  What did you gain/learn from hosting this program?

The Late Night experience was exciting. I didn’t have many expectations, really. A part of the night was about seeing how visitors accepted the space, the materials available to them, and the project at hand. There was a wide swath of diversity that entered the space. I really loved the way that the visitors took their time in the space. The Tech Lab became a relaxing space for the visitors to listen to music, enjoy each others company, and create art. There were several visitors that returned to the space towards the end of the night to see how the visual conversation had progressed. I believe that this was significant as it spoke to the level of engagement and curiosity about what and how others had addressed the prompts: The world today and the future world. For me, the pleasure was seeing how the visitors committed the time and attention to add their voice to the conversation.

Tell us about your plan for the #DMAdigitalspot.

The wall monitor is a digital installation that will be comprised of photographs, manipulated digital images, and videos. It is a visual exploration of interpretative narrative. I am most interested in creating an opportunity for all visitors to the Center for Creative Connections to experience different ways of looking and being with visual language.

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Stop by the Center for Creative Connections in February to see how David Herman transforms the #DMAdigitalspot.

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Manager

C3 The Place To Be!

The Center for Creative Connections is a hands-on, interactive, experimental learning environment for people of all ages at the Dallas Museum of Art. I am honored to be part of some amazing programs for adult visitors that offer a variety of learning experiences for beginners and experts!

Thursday Night Programs

Twice a month during DMA’s Thursday Night Live, C3 offers two-hour adult workshops from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in our classrooms. During one of these Thursday evenings we bring in creativity expert Magdalena Grohman, Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Dallas, and a local art educator to lead Think Creatively. The Think Creatively program provides adults the opportunity to put creative thinking to practice and discover the power to transform the imagination. Each workshop has a different theme and focus on one of the following: associations, inquisitiveness, or transformation. To sign up for upcoming C3 Adult workshops click here.

Participants discussing their work.

Participants discussing their work.

The other Thursday program offered is our C3 Artistic Encounters workshop where we invite local artists from the community in to lead art making workshops related to the DMA’s collection. In addition to that, this year we also featured an evening called C3 Digital Show and Tell where our visitors submitted their personal artwork and work they created during the C3 classes to show to everyone on the big screen!

C3AE with guest artist Juergen Strunk

C3AE with guest artist Juergen Strunk


Late Night Programs

Late Night at the DMA is an incredible evening for the entire family. There is always something happening in our various theaters, stages, classrooms and galleries. One of our Late Night programs is the Creativity Challenge. Ten teams compete against time and others with limited materials in order to make unique creations inspired by works of art from our collection. These challenges are always fun, risk-free, hands-on and meant to encourage divergent thinking.

Creating love songs to works of art and musical instruments. This team is creating a one woman band!

Creating love songs to works of art and musical instruments. This team is creating a one woman band!

Miss DMA Creativity Challenge

Miss DMA Creativity Challenge

Our next Creativity Challenge will be during Late Night on March 15th. Bring your team and sign up with me at 9:30 p.m. in C3!

Be sure to come by and check out the exciting programming happening in C3!

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

Community Connection: Accumulation Project

What’s 2,490 feet long, made of paper, and on view at the DMA?  Hint: visit the current Community Partner Response Installation titled Accumulation Project, by Annette Lawrence, Professor of Drawing and Painting at UNT.  Over eleven months, visitors of all ages contributed to Accumulation Project during workshops led by Annette during her time as a C3 Visiting Artist.  She also invited staff from various DMA departments to help with the installation in the days leading up to its unveiling.

Do you typically invite people to help you install your work?

In different contexts, I have students or volunteers or preparators or whoever works at the gallery, museum, etc. help with installation.  I work more often with staff than with the public. For the DMA, part of the project was with the public, during workshops for people of all ages.  Often, the adults were more interested in the idea of creating a long line of paper than the children were.  Some kids got into it, depending on their personality.  At the time of installation, we were in a time crunch and invited DMA staff to help, and I was really happy with the response.  It was a pleasure working with everyone, and it seemed like it gave folks a break from their regular work. There was a great energy about pitching in.  Once everyone was there, the installation was finished quickly.

The help of other people can cut the installation time in half.  At the MFA Houston Glassell School of Art, l had one guy working with me consistently, and people coming in and out through the day to install Theory.  That took us six days.  Usually when someone starts working with me, they start to own the piece: they’re committed and want to see it finished.  In this case, my helper wasn’t an artist; he was the maintenance guy, and he had time to help.

Theory, Annette Lawrence, 2003, installation at the Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX

What do you enjoy about teaching college students?

Mainly, I enjoy the process of discovering things with them.  It depends on the level of class.  In beginning classes, students are introduced to materials and are figuring out how to use them.  After that, students pursue things that interest them, and I point them towards resources.  I often find I am learning with them as they explore different processes.  Lately, there has mostly been more interest in paint than anything else, but at times it veers off in other directions like installation work or sound.  Photography has also been incorporated into work as well as lots of mixed media while students are finding their own way.

You spoke at the DMA earlier this year about your work at Cowboys Stadium.  What was your initial reaction to the request for a commissioned work of art at the Stadium?

Lisa Brown of Dunn and Brown Contemporary loaded the conversation with artists who had already said yes – Mel Bochner, Laurence Weiner, Matthew Ritchie and Olafur Eliasson – she was kind of setting me up.  I said “Oh well, OK I guess I’ll do it.”  I studied Mel Bochner and Lawrence Weiner as an undergraduate student, and I was pretty excited about being in a collection that they were in.  Meeting them in real life – in the context of a celebration for the Cowboys Stadium Art Program – I could not have imagined that.

It was an odd request; a contemporary art collection at a professional sports stadium had not been done before.  I wasn’t opposed.  I was excited and interested in seeing the work happen, but it is a little bit ironic considering my interest in sports (or lack thereof) that the one permanent installation of my work is in a football stadium.

I designed the piece based on the space I was given, one of the main entryways.  In the interest of relating the piece to football, I looked up a glossary of football terms on Google.  As soon as I saw the words “Coin Toss”, I knew it was the right title.  It just fit, beyond the shape of the piece – a circle moving in space – but it also goes with the start of game, and the artwork’s placement in the entryway.  The Jones’s response to the title was so positive, and it was part of the enthusiasm for the work.

Coin Toss, Annette Lawrence, 2009, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington TX

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

Look at other people’s creations, mostly.  Looking at art, films, theater, dance, music, and all the arts take up most of my time.  Visiting friends and family is high priority, where we often talk about art.  If it’s with friends, we generally have art conversations.  With family, it can be anything.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Just visiting and being with good friends and family. I’m not interested in Christmas hype, but I like how things slow down a little bit and everyone is observing that this is time to spend with people you care about.  I alternate between doing Christmas or not doing Christmas.  This is a not year – we’re just not really doing it.  We’ll probably send out greetings to friends and families around New Year’s – after Christmas.  Last year, we sent a fun video, so we’re thinking about what we will do this year.  Whatever we send will be homemade.

Installing at Cowboys Stadium

Accumulation Project is on view in the Center for Creative Connections through May 2012.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community


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