Posts Tagged 'Collage'

Friday Photos: Found Object Frenzy

I’ve had a lot of fun exploring the DMA’s galleries throughout the first three weeks of my McDermott internship. As a lover of collage and assemblage, I was excited to find a wide variety of artworks created with found objects. Although it was hard to narrow it down, here are three of my favorites:


Natural items, such as raffia, wood, cowrie shells, beads, parrot feathers, and goat hair were used to create this mid-20th century helmet mask from the Democratic Republic of Congo.


In Family Portrait, artist Martin Delabano used found materials to recreate everyday objects. He also included meaningful items, such as his father’s watch and a piece of his son’s baby blanket.


Jim Hodges’ Changing Things is composed of dozens of silk flowers. Find out what other found objects Hodges uses at the DMA’s upcoming exhibition, Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take, which opens October 6th!

What would you create using found objects from your home? Stay tuned next month for a kid-friendly found object DIY project!

Artworks shown:

  • Helmet mask (mukenga), mid-20th century, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, Dallas Museum of Art, gift in honor of Peter Hanszen Lynch and Cristina Martha Frances Lynch
  • Martin Delabano, Family Portrait, 1963, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Lorine and David H. Gibson, and Sonny Burt and Bob Butler
  • Jim Hodges, Changing Things, 1997, Dallas Museum of Art, Mary Margaret Munson Wilcox Fund and gift of Catherine and Will Rose, Howard Rachofsky, Christopher Drew and Alexandra May, and Martin Posner and Robyn Menter-Posner

Amelia Wood
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Programs

Creative Arts Center + VSA Texas

Creative Arts Center of Dallas

On Friday, July 12, Amanda Blake and I visited the Creative Arts Center of Dallas (CAC), a non-profit organization located on a two-acre campus near White Rock Lake. The CAC’s mission is to provide a “nurturing environment for people to discover, develop and express their artistic visions” through hands-on classes and workshops. The reason for our visit was to attend a training session hosted by VSA Texas, the state organization on arts and disability. VSA Texas is a member of the international network of VSA, a non-profit affiliate of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Based in Austin, VSA Texas works to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts.

The focus of the training session was learning how to create accessible artistic environments, be they classes or workshops, for people of all cognitive and developmental abilities. Amanda and I currently lead monthly art experiences for adults with developmental disabilities through our partnership with the ARC of Dallas. Each class includes a gallery discussion, an interactive component, and an art-making activity in the Art Studio. We hoped that this hands-on training with VSA Texas would increase our skill-set and provide us with new ideas that could be introduced into our Access programs. We were joined by artists who currently lead art classes at CAC, but only teach typically developing students. This training was meant to pave the way for CAC’s new ARTability program, which would provide a variety of art making classes to the Dallas disability community.


Oftentimes, people with disabilities have had little to no exposure to art; not as a child in school nor in their group or individual homes as adults. Celia Hughes and April Sullivan–VSA Texas Executive Director and Artworks Director respectively–led our training and explained that designing art-making opportunities for people with disabilities does not involve creating completely new lessons, but rather simplifying concepts and adapting artistic processes so that they are more accessible to a wider variety of developmental levels. “Take nothing for granted,” Hughes said, “break everything down into one step at a time.”

For example, the first step of an art lesson could be discussing paintbrushes: how to choose a brush and how to properly clean and take care of it. Though this concept could seem elementary to typically developing students, it is something that students with disabilities may have never encountered.

Hughes and Sullivan also explained that initial projects, for those just beginning to delve into art classes, should be based on perceivable concepts–something the student can physically see–rather than jumping into creating from imagination right away. This level of artistic freedom could be too much to handle for some beginning students, resulting in frustration.

A good inaugural lesson could be a simple collaged still-life: there is something concrete for the students to reference (a bowl of fruit), basic skills explored (tearing and gluing), and fundamental artistic concepts covered (composition). As a group, we completed all the steps involved in this collaged still-life lesson, all the while discussing the potential obstacles and teachable moments that could occur.

This training was an opportunity for community and museum educators to discuss the multitude of ways we can create accessible art making opportunities and engage people with disabilities. I think it also enabled us to reflect upon the importance of arts institutions bridging this artistic gap and providing access to high quality art education experiences to people of all abilities.

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Make This: Collagraphs


For our Urban Armor workshop this month, we focused on different printmaking techniques. We made some awesome block prints using linoleum blocks that we carved and ran through the printing press. We also played around with collagraphy, a fun and easy technique that you can do at home without a press or any other expensive materials.

In collagraphy, you collage an image to create a “plate.” You will then transfer the image from the plate by coating it with ink and pressing it against a new surface. The effect you get is different from a block print–it won’t be as clear, but you’ll get a neat, atmospheric-type of image. Keep in mind that, since you’re creating the plate out of paper, it won’t be as durable as linoleum or other materials, which will limit the number of times you can use it. Remember too that your print will be a mirror image, so if you plan to include text, make sure that it reads backwards on your plate.

What you need:

  • Collage materials (scrap paper, magazines, fabric scraps, etc., but nothing too thick)
  • A pair of scissors or x-acto knife
  • Glue
  • A pencil
  • Heavy paper (heavy drawing paper, watercolor paper, cardstock)
  • Smooth paper for printing (copy paper works in a pinch)
  • Gloss medium
  • Brush
  • Printing ink (I use water-based ink, available at craft stores)
  • Brayer (optional)
  • Paper plate for spreading ink
  • Baren or large spoon for burnishing
  • Scrap cloth or paper towels


Step 1: Make your plate

Create a collage on top of your piece of heavy paper–this is the image that will be printed. Experiment with layering things on top of each other; this will give your print different effects. Let the glue dry completely before moving on to the next step.


Cutting out designs

Collaging the plate

Collaging the plate

Step 2: Seal your plate 

Cover the entire plate with a thin layer of gloss medium. This creates a durable, smooth surface that will give you a good ink transfer and allow you to use the plate multiple times.


Sealing the plate with gloss medium

Step 3: Ink your plate

When your plate is dry, coat the surface with ink. You can do this with a brayer: put a dime-sized amount of ink on your paper plate and then roll it out with the brayer. Now roll the inked brayer across the surface of your image. If you don’t have a brayer, no worries! I dipped a paper towel into my ink and then wiped it onto my plate–it worked just as well. Whichever method you choose, be sure to wipe off excess ink in areas you don’t want printed using your scrap cloth or paper towels.


Inking the plate

Step 4: Print your plate 

Flip your plate face-down onto your piece of smooth printing paper. Using your baren or spoon, burnish the back of the plate. Then, carefully peel it away from the printing paper. Voila! If you want to print in a different color, wipe your plate off with a damp paper towel.



Final print: note that it is a mirror image of the plate

Final print: note that it is a mirror image of the plate

Remember that printmaking is an experimental process. Prints created from the same plate can look vastly different depending on how much ink you use, the pressure you apply when burnishing, etc. Part of the fun for me is not knowing exactly how each print will turn out! So I encourage you to make as many prints as you can, experiment, and have fun!

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

Five, Six, Seven, Eight

Chagall: Beyond Color opens on Sunday, February 17, and the highlight of the exhibition is sure to be the costumes designed by Chagall in 1942 for the production of the ballet Aleko. The ballet’s première took place in September 1942 in Mexico City, followed by the Ballet Theatre of New York production, and the costumes have not been seen in the U.S. since. Recently, DMA staff whipped out their jazz hands and did their best mannequin impersonations to assist in the installation of the Aleko costumes.

IMG_1541 IMG_1540

Seldom Scene’s Seldom Seen

Rarely on view, Henri Matisse’s Ivy in Flower—a full-scale maquette for a stained glass window made late in the artist’s career—will be installed for six months in the Concourse. Here are some photos from the large cutout’s installation.

Henri Matisse, Ivy in Flower, 1953, colored paper, watercolor, pencil, and brown paper tape on paper mounted on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation


Flickr Photo Stream