Posts Tagged 'Center for Creative Connections'



Sights, Sounds, and Smells

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Recently, the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections team and our Manager of Access Programs, Emily Wiskera, put their heads together to develop a new Pop-Up Art Spot with sensory-based activities. On Saturdays in December, pop in to the Museum to see Passages in Modern Art: 1946-1996 for FREE in the Barrel Vault Gallery on Level 1 and enhance your art experience.

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With these Sensory Squares, you can explore what works of art might feel like if we were allowed to touch them. Look at nearby works of art as you feel each square and consider which works you think relate to each texture.

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Check out a bag of scent bottles and a ring of art cards. Sample the scents and reflect on what memories or images come to mind when you smell them. Find each work of art on the cards provided and compare the scents to the artwork. Which scents do you connect with each work of art?

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Interested in origami? Pick up a piece of paper and try your hand at figuring out the folds Dorothea Rockburne made to create the form in Locus Series #6.

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

Friday Photos: Message Received

Earlier this fall, the Center for Creative Connections installed various communication devices that span several decades of the 20th century. By displaying these works of art together, we encourage visitors to consider the ways that communication has changed over the years and to notice the design ideas that have remained the same.

Recently, we added a writing activity at a nearby table so that visitors would have the opportunity to put down their smartphones and take a moment to hand-write or type a letter. Visitors of all ages have been especially taken by the typewriter. It’s been fun to see the look of joy come over faces of visitors who are sitting down to use a typewriter for the first time, or revisiting an old, familiar experience.

The typed responses we’ve received so far are often cryptic and intriguing like these:

Though my favorite response has been this hand-written jewel by a 9-year-old:

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Stop by the Center for Creative Connections during your next visit to the DMA and take a moment to share your thoughts or write a letter to a friend.

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

Patrick Faulhaber: Homage to a Beloved Dallas Artist

A few months ago, when I first saw images of Patrick Faulhaber’s paintings, it was hard to believe they weren’t actually photographs. His paintings capture a unique view of Dallas street life, imbuing what might be seen as common and everyday with a sense of magic.

Sadly, in May this year, Patrick Faulhaber passed away at the age of 70. Faulhaber first debuted his small canvas paintings at the DMA’s Concentrations 31 exhibition in 1998, and we’ve recently put them on view again in our Center for Creative Connections. In an interview with former Museum curator Charles Wylie, Faulhaber shared a wonderful thought about the close link in his work between painting and photography:

Photography is fast and gathers and immense amount of information in a fraction of a second; painting is studying all that information and adding all your emotions and understanding.

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This quote resonated with us so much, we knew we had to create a gallery activity in the Center for Creative Connections that reflects his concepts and commemorates his life’s work. The photo-realistic paintings didn’t just happen overnight; he worked tirelessly to perfect all the information gathered from over twenty photos shot of each scene. We found a way to simplify this for our visitors: bring in light boxes, paper, colored pencils, and snapshots of scenes that are uniquely Dallas, and leave the creativity to you.

In just a few weeks, I’ve collected a wide variety of drawings that visitors have left behind. Here are a few of my favorite themes discovered among them. Of course, we have to start with the detailed drawings…

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We also loved our visitors’ personal add-ins to the photographs…

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And we can’t leave out the abstracted drawings…

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How detailed can you be when recreating a photograph? Stop by the Center for Creative Connections and put your own skills to the test!

Kerry Butcher
Center for Creative Connections Coordinator

Communication Across the Ages

This week, the Center for Creative Connections installed an array of communication devices dating from 1909 to 1972. These objects demonstrate the dramatic change communication has undergone over the past century: devices have decreased in size to become more portable, while our ability to communicate with each other has become more immediate. 

 

Before texts and tweets, messages were sent and received by post or telegraph. Imagine sitting at a desk in the early 1900s and using these beautifully designed, handcrafted tools. Perhaps you are opening an envelope or dipping your pen in an inkwell to compose a letter to a dear friend. “Snail mail” would have been the only way to correspond with your out-of-town friends and family. According to the U.S. Postal Service, from 1926 to 2001, the number of items mailed steadily increased from 15 million to 103 million. However, this number had decreased to 62 billion by 2015. Today, instead of waiting days to send and receive a letter, we can simply send a quick text or email that arrives in mere seconds.

 

One of the first cameras to be marketed to women, the Kodak Petite was produced from 1929-1933. It was sold in a handful of colors and its small lightweight design made it easily portable. Today, anyone with a smartphone has access to camera at all times. It’s interesting to note that when the Kodak Petite is closed, it is roughly the size of a modern day smartphone.

 

Until the birth of radio and television in the 1920s, information, news, and entertainment were dispersed to the masses through printed materials like newspapers. This 1930’s Bluebird is a small personal radio, similar in color and design to the larger Nocturne radio in the Museum’s collection. Though this elegant radio may have been outside the budget of most living through The Great Depression, the medium itself remained an important aspect of everyday life in the early 20th century. The way we listen to music has certainly changed today. Instead of waiting for our favorite song to come on the radio, we have access to podcasts and programs like Spotify, which make listening to shows and songs possible practically anytime.

 

The Ericofon was the 1950s version of an all-in-one device. This one-piece phone combined the once separate dialing component with the listening/speaking component. At the time, it’s thirteen ounce weight was a huge improvement on the typical five or six pound telephone.

 

Reminiscent of an astronaut’s helmet, the JVC Videosphere’s spherical design came on the heels of the first moon landing–doubly significant because the landing was televised. The Videosphere was one of the first televisions meant to function as “a second set” for a household. Its small size also indicates that it was designed for use by an individual rather than a group.

Perhaps what is most striking about all of these devices is that each of these modes of communication is readily available today in one small, handheld device. Stop by the Center for Creative Connections to see these works of art in person and consider how communication has changed in your lifetime. 

 

Artworks shown:

  • Gustav Stickley, Desk set, c. 1909, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Beth Cathers and Robert Kaplan
  • Walter Dorwin Teague, “Kodak petite” camera, designed c. 1927, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley
  • Walter Dorwin Teague, Bluebird radio (Model 566), designed c. 1934, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Sonny Burt, Dallas
  • “Ericofon” pattern telephone, Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson, designed 1949–1954, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund
  • “JVC Videosphere” television, Victor Company of Japan, designed 1972, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund

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

North Texas Giving Day

No one has ever become poor from giving. —Maya Angelou

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Have you ever wondered how the DMA can offer free general admission to its collection and many of its educational programs? The answer is simple—it’s because of you!

Once again, it is time to band together for one exciting and enormous day of giving. On Thursday, September 22, every gift made to the Dallas Museum of Art will receive matching funds for our work in the community, which will help us continue to provide free access to 5,000 years of human creativity.

To help us gear up for this special day, visitors gathered in our Center for Creative Connections to make buttons showing how or why they give back to the community. They were then encouraged to leave a button for someone else and take one that spoke to them. It was a fun—and meaningful—project!

We are always so proud to see our galleries full of art enthusiasts of all ages discovering the joy and wonder of art. Mark your calendar now for North Texas Giving Day and make your donation on September 22!

Julie Henley is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at the DMA. 

Friday Photos: C3 Volunteer Spotlight

The Center for Creative Connections (C3) is fortunate to have a number of amazing volunteers. From engaging visitors in conversations about art to maintaining supplies, volunteers play a key role in the C3 experience. Today we’d like to recognize four dedicated C3 volunteers: Mary Burkhead, Ryan Heerwagen, Briana Segarra, and Deborah Herring.

Mary Burkhead has been volunteering at the DMA for more than three years. She loves visiting museums and believes that being a volunteer has made her a more engaged and appreciative patron. When she is not volunteering, you can find Mary reading and attending theater, opera, and music performances.

Ryan Heerwagen has been a C3 volunteer for over two years. He enjoys having access to works of art and doing something that helps the community. When he is not at the DMA, Ryan can be found reading, playing video games, running a religious studies group, and consuming all of the knowledge the world has to offer.

Briana Segarra has been volunteering since December 2015. Volunteering in the C3 gallery satisfies her love for art and education. She also finds it nearly impossible to leave without a sense of fulfillment. In her free time, Briana can be found helping out at two local galleries, traveling, and educating future artists.

Deborah Herring began volunteering more than four years ago after retiring as an educator. She volunteers in order to stay connected to the creative world and to encourage visitors to have a worthwhile experience. In her spare time, Deborah loves knitting, playing Pokemon GO, and exploring places that encourage walking.

We are so thankful to have such a wonderful group of volunteers! If you are interested in becoming a Museum volunteer, please email volunteers@DMA.org for additional information.

Andi Orkin
Volunteer Coordinator for Programming

A Golden Summertime

Last night, we wrapped up our annual summer partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center’s six-week Summer Arts at the Center program, where students learn about African history through writing, photography, art-making, and performance. This summer, students learned about post-colonial West Africa, with a focus on Ghana.

Some of our favorite works of art at the DMA come from Ghana – like the Sword ornament in the shape of a lion! After a field trip to the Museum to learn more about Asante gold, teens illustrated and gilded proverbs from their lives with gold leaf, then brought them into three dimensions with clay.

After their projects were finished, we invited families from the Center to visit us for a family night! Roslyn Walker, the DMA’s Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific, lead tours for families in the galleries. Students and their loved ones also made thumb pianos in the studio and explored the Center for Creative Connections during their visit.

Big thanks to the South Dallas Cultural Center for another summer of awesome art making and fun. We look forward to seeing you at the museum again soon!

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs

Mi Museo Es Tu Museo

Learning English as a second language while living in a Spanish-speaking home didn’t come without its challenges—it took me years before I realized “better late than ever” wasn’t a phrase, and I could write an entire dictionary of hybrid words my siblings and I used by mistake (e.g. “moona,” or moon + luna). In spite of the occasional linguistic faux pas, having the opportunity to communicate in both languages has been incredibly rewarding in my personal life and my experience as an educator.

While I didn’t grow up in Texas, my experience growing up bilingual is pretty common throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. More than a third of the population in Texas speaks a language other than English at home, and DFW contains the 6th largest Spanish-speaking population in the United States. Current research demonstrates that both English-learners and native English-speakers benefit from educational settings that foster bilingual literacy. With all of this in mind, how does the DMA factor the demographics of its audience and the scholarship on bilingual education to engage Spanish-speaking visitors?

Since the Center for Creative Connections (C3) first began implementing bilingual signage on table prompts and wall text, the DMA has introduced a number of additional resources for visitors who want to engage with art by reading, writing, or listening in Spanish. Through a collaboration with Make Art with Purpose, C3 produced the Translating Culture and Translating Culture II gallery guides based on community voices. The 2015 exhibition Inca: Conquests of the Andes/Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes featured English and Spanish text on its labels and wall didactics, as well as an interactive art scavenger hunt available in both languages. Visitors can also find extended labels in English and Spanish related to two works by Frida Kahlo currently on view in Level 4.

Here are some more bilingual resources we’ve introduced during the past year:

First Tuesday Spanish Family Tours

On the first Tuesday of the month from September through May, visitors ages 0-5 and their grown-ups are invited to join Museum staff for interactive tours throughout the galleries in both English and Spanish. This past year, I had the pleasure of leading families on Spanish tours inspired by nature, sculptures, robots, pop art, and more. Additionally, the signs and schedules for First Tuesday this past year were printed in both English and Spanish.

Create an exvoto / Crea un exvoto Activities

The inspiration behind this table activity in the Interactive Gallery came from the exvotos on view in C3, which contain Spanish text describing everyday miracles and expressions of gratitude. When Community Engagement staff designed an off-site version of this activity at the 2016 AVANCE Latino Street Fest, we included bilingual exvoto instructions and templates giving visitors the option to write in English or in Spanish.

Young Learners Gallery

Part of the recent redesign for this interactive learning space includes bilingual wall text and activity prompts for children ages 5-8 and their families. Visitors can explore lines and line-making using English and Spanish text, and the various hands-on activities in the space were designed for a number of different learning styles.

Spanish Family Guides (COMING SOON!)

Visitors can pick up Arturo Family Gallery Guides for a fun way to explore the galleries at their own pace. Each one contains activities and questions (and maybe a few puns) for kids and their grown-ups to make meaningful connections with pieces throughout the DMA. Keep an eye out for Spanish language family guides coming soon!

Museums around the country are engaging linguistically diverse audiences in innovative ways, including video guidesco-taught bilingual gallery lessons, and workshops for adult immigrants. What other ways have you seen museums welcome visitors with diverse language backgrounds?

Paulina Lopez
McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement

 

Early Start: Young Learners Gallery

We’ve recently debuted a new space for inquisitive young Museum visitors. Check out the Young Learner’s Gallery on your next visit!

Layers and colors and prints, oh my!

Whether they’re used as Weezer’s album cover or turned into emoji, Japanese woodblock prints have long been admired for their striking imagery and rich detail. At the Center for Creative Connections, we’re excited to welcome three Japanese woodblock prints from the DMA’s permanent collection by Hiroshi Yoshida.

The soft colors and fine details on these prints make them appear delicate or fragile, but the process behind each of these artworks requires some intensive labor. To illustrate a bit of the behind-the-scenes work that took place for these prints, we collaborated with Austin-based printmaker Daryl Howard to recreate a traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking station similar to the one Yoshida would have used to create the works on view in C3. Based on a diagram from Japanese Print-Making: A handbook of traditional and modern techniques by Rei Yuki and Toshi Yoshida (Hiroshi Yoshida’s son), the display case in C3 shows a few of the most essential printmaking tools used for this art form.

There are two essential steps to make color woodblock prints:

Carving the woodblocks. Each color on a final print image corresponds to a separate woodblock. For instance, creating a final image with black, red, and yellow colors would require a printmaker to carve three separate blocks-one for each color. Printmakers used a (knife), to cut fine lines into each wooden block, and various aisuki (flat scrapers) to carve out unnecessary pieces of wood. Chisels known as sōainomi and marunomi were used with wooden mallets to clear out large spaces on the wooden surface.

Printing onto the paper.  After carving each woodblock, printmakers applied colored pigments directly onto the surface of the blocks using horsehair brushes called surikomi-bake. Softer mizubake (water brushes) were used to moisten sheets of paper before printing. To transfer pigments from the wooden block surface onto the paper, printmakers placed the paper on top of the woodblock and rubbed it with a baren made of coiled fibers and bamboo sheath. The artist would repeat this printing process, laying the same sheet of paper on top of each different woodblock to create a final image made of multiple color layers.

C3_blockdetail In the Interactive Gallery, we’ve developed a printmaking station where visitors can experiment with Step 2 of the printmaking process by making their own layered color prints using paper, carved linoleum blocks, and crayon rocks. Like the traditional Japanese woodblock prints, each of the carved blocks at the C3 table activity corresponds to one color that can be layered with others to create a final image. Yoshida often used 20-30 different color block layers in his prints, but our activity only requires four layers. The crayon rocks act as both a baren and an inking brush because they simultaneously apply color and transfer the impression of the carved block onto the paper. Take a look at the slideshow below to see a step by step run-through of the C3 printmaking activity.

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My favorite aspect of the printmaking process is the way working with separate layers allows for countless color combinations. Yoshida used this facet of the medium to create vastly different moods and atmospheres in his prints—these kinds of prints focused on color variants are called betsuzuri. In his 1926 Inland Sea series, part of the permanent collection in the MFA Boston, Yoshida utilized the same set of woodblocks to create six entirely distinct images showing various times of day:

A small sampling of the prints visitors made in C3 this week demonstrates a similar effect using color variants to produce unique images from the same set of carved blocks:

If you’re like me and you can’t get enough of this medium, check out these DIY printmaking tutorials using styrofoam and soda (yes, the drink!). For a deeper dive into the intricacies of traditional Japanese printmaking, mark your calendars for the upcoming Late Night Art Bytes on May 20, and the C3 Visiting Artist Workshop with Daryl Howard, printmaker extraordinaire, on May 21. Happy printing!

Paulina Lopez
McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement

 


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