Posts Tagged 'Community Connection'



Camp and Community

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I spent the last week in July in sunny California. Though I divided my time between walks on the beach, wandering the bustling boardwalk, and exploring the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH), this was no beach vacation, but rather an intense seventy-two hours at Nina Simon’s Museum Camp 2014.  Even with the itinerary, I honestly did not know what to expect as I walked up to the MAH, feeling like a true camper toting my loaded backpack and refillable water bottle attached to my purse.  As a museum educator, this was a dream come true.  Not only has Simon influenced the way we think about and create programs and interactives in the Center for Creative Connections (C3), but I also used her book in the literature review of my Master’s thesis.  As relevant professional development can be hard to come by as a museum educator working in an interactive space, this Social Impact Assessment themed camp seemed to be what I was looking for to give me some direction in the evaluation of the C3 and specific activities within our space.

Overnight camp as an adult is a unique opportunity, so when I was offered the chance to attend Museum Camp and sleep over at the museum, I was all in.  There is a special bond that is formed by spending that kind of concentrated time with a group of people.  That bond is reinforced by going through certain trials and tribulations together, like searching for a comfortable spot to sleep, waking up and walking through a foggy Santa Cruz morning to the gym to take a shower, or late night revelations in the Confessional Tent.  Though not all the campers opted to stay the night at the Museum, there were other opportunities for bonding, like karaoke night, mess-hall style dinners, swimming in the Pacific, and of course the fast-paced group research projects that were at the center of our camp experience.

 

We met our group members at the end of the first day of Museum Camp and, through a tumultuous game of White Elephant, our research locations were determined.  Over the next few days we developed a research question, hypothesis, and indicators, then carried out our research and compiled our findings. The goal was to use unconventional methods of data collection to gather information regarding social impact. My group, the Metacampers, had a more sensitive location than most because we were attending a private rather than public event. The event was hosted by the Beach Flats Community Center for a small group of Latino families. Since we were all outsiders, we found it important to gather as much information as possible before engaging in our research.  We visited both the community center that was hosting the event and the park where the event would take place. Yet, we still came to our project with a handful of assumptions both about the community and the location. We planned our methods so as to be as natural as possible at the event; our Spanish-speaking group members engaged in informal interviews with adult participants, our non-Spanish-speaking members made observations of both adult and youth participants, and towards the end of the gathering we asked the youths to each take a photograph of  what they found most fun at the event. We expected to be greeted with some amount of skepticism, but were surprised to find the community was quite welcoming. The key to this was our Spanish-speaking group members; they were able to become ingrained in the event as participants, and holding informal interviews was a natural aspect of that.

This brings me to my biggest take-away from Museum Camp.  While undertaking the research project and learning about the other groups’ methods was interesting and insightful, my biggest take-away has more to do with the idea of community.  Time and again throughout camp, I was surprised by how immersed Nina Simon is in her city.  Clearly, whether the camp was going on or not, Simon would have had dinner at India Joze or gone to karaoke at I Love Sushi or walked to the beach to go swimming in the Pacific. As a cultural and educational institution, connecting to the community is an important aspect of the Dallas Museum of Art’s mission. What I learned at Museum Camp is that rather than seeking to connect to the community we must be embedded in it; we must be active participants in our own communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Museum Camp 2014 experience, take a look at these resources from camp and reflections by other campers.

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

Friday Photos: Capturing Culture

Art is often a reflection of a society’s culture; it can range from an artist’s response to a specific experience, to a cultural relic born out of a particular time and place.  The Dallas Museum of Art’s collection represents cultures from every continent over the last 5,000 years.  Help us explore the diversity within North Texas by sharing your photographs that capture culture.

Upload your photographs here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/dmaculture 

Click here for guidelines and more information.

Submitted photos will be on view in the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections starting in July.

Jessica Fuentes

C3 Gallery Coordinator

Young Masters at the DMA

MT Young MastersIf you haven’t had the chance to view the fantastic artworks in the Young Masters exhibition, be sure to stop by before the exhibition closes on February 17, 2013. This annual exhibition is organized in partnership with the O’Donnell Foundation’s incentive program, Create Schools of Excellence in Fine Arts Education, and recognizes the artistic achievements of students and teachers in Dallas area schools. This year, 56 works of art were selected for the exhibition out of 620 works submitted for consideration.

I had the chance to interview Maria Teresa G. Pedroche, Head of Community Engagement here at the DMA, about her role in co-curating the studio art selections and organizing the overall exhibition.

What is the history of the O’Donnell Foundation Advanced Placement Arts Incentive Program with the DMA?

Since 1995, the O’Donnell Foundation and the Dallas Museum of Art have generously sponsored Young Masters. Young Masters celebrates the creativity and skill of each grant program: AP Art History, AP Music Theory and AP Studio Art. Integrating all three disciplines at this prestigious event highlights and reinforces the interconnectedness of the arts.

How are student artworks chosen to be featured in the exhibition? 

Participating AP Fine Arts students are invited to submit the following works:

    • AP Art History – an original essay in response to a work in the DMA’s permanent collection
    • AP Music Theory – an original four minute composition
    • AP Studio Art – an original two-dimensional or three-dimensional art work

The final works and award winners for each program are selected by a panel of artists, art historians, and musicians.

 What is your favorite part about working on this exhibition?

For the past 13 years I have seen students exhibit strength and diversity within a broad range of styles and expressions; their autobiographical statements express their thoughts with clarity and elegance. During the Late Night in January, students were interviewed by Nancy Churnin of the Dallas Morning News before visitors voted for their favorite works in the exhibition. It was enriching for visitors to have the opportunity to talk with students in the gallery. The Young Masters exhibition inspires both children and adults!

Who picks the first, second, and third prize artworks? When will we know which works are chosen?

The final works and award winners for each program were selected by a panel of artists, art historians, and musicians. They included:

  • Dr. Susan Bakewell, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art History at University College, University of Southern Maine, and former College Board AP Ar History Chief Reader
  • Erin Cluley, Exhibitions and Public Relations Manager at the Dallas Contemporary
  • Dr. Blaise Ferrandino, Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Texas Christian University and College Board AP Music Theory Consultant and Reader
  • Dr. Robert Frank, Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Southern Methodist University
  • Erin Hannigan, Principal Oboe of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Adjunct Associate Professor of Oboe at Southern Methodist University
  • Paul Jeanes, Foundation Faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art and College Board AP Studio Art Exam Table Leader
  • Martha MacLeod, Curatorial Administrative Assistant for European and American Art at the Dallas Museum of Art
  • Maria Teresa G. Pedroche, Head of Community Engagement at the Dallas Museum of Art
  • Charissa N. Terranova, Assistant Professor of Aesthetic Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas

Young Masters and their teachers were honored tonight at an awards ceremony held at the Dallas Museum of Art. Here are the winners:

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AP Art History

1st Place: Benjamin Lee from Plano Senior High School
2nd Place: Stephanie Chen from Plano Senior High School
3rd Place: Conner Frew from McKinney Boyd High School
Honorable Mention: Macy Huang from Plano Senior High School

Visit the Young Masters AP Art History Gallery

AP Music Theory
1st Place: Trey Strickland from Plano East High School
2nd Place: Joshua Choe from Creekview High School
3rd  Place: Dylan Hunn from Plano West Senior High School
Honorable Mention: Josh Sniderman from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Honorable Mention: Chase Dobson from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts     

Visit the Young Masters AP Music Theory Gallery

AP Studio Art

1st Place: Samuel Hersh from Plano Senior High School
2nd Place: Mackenzie Miller from Lovejoy High School
3rd Place: Sungkeun Kim from Creekview High School
Honorable Mention: Audrey Allen from McKinney Boyd High School
Honorable Mention: Anna Fields from Richland High School
Honorable Mention: Larissa Logelfo from McKinney Boyd High School
Honorable Mention: Lea Menaul from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts      
Honorable Mention: Hayley Parsa from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts 
Honorable Mention: Lauren Ussery from Coppell High School

Visit the Young Masters AP Studio Art Gallery

ImageWhat is the People’s Choice Award?

The Young Masters Exhibition Awards Ceremony reminds me of the Academy Awards. Three years ago I suggested we add the People’s Choice Award and invited visitors to vote for their favorite work in the exhibition. The response has been rewarding–visitor’s voices count and students appreciate the feedback.

The upcoming Late Night on February 15–our first with free admission–will showcase students in the exhibition from 7-9pm. You can vote for your favorite work of art during Late Night from 6-9pm and check apstrategiesarts.org after February 18 to see which work earned the People’s Choice Award.

How has the inclusion of works by AP Music Theory and AP Art History in the exhibition changed the overall exhibition experience?

Visitors experience Young Masters in a whole new way through our smARTphone tour at www.DMA.mobi.  Everyone enjoys hearing original music compositions and essay readings by students featured in Young Masters.  Including Art History essays and Music Theory compositions strengthens the exhibition.

For more information on Young Masters, check out Guide Live and the Arts Blog of the Dallas Morning News.

Thanks to the O’Donnell Foundation! We congratulate the artists on their accomplishments and acknowledge their dedicated teachers for motivating students to reach their full potential. The arts are the soul of the community helping to reflect and promote the city’s history and the community’s cultural diversity: past, present, and evolving.  It is an honor to work with the O’Donnell Foundation. We are grateful to Edith and Peter O’Donnell for their generous support, along with their dedicated staff, especially AP Arts Director Deborah Moore for her creative leadership on this program that builds confidence and self-esteem and inspires students and teachers to reach to the highest level in the arts.

Amanda Blake
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences

Anytime Activities: Family Fun Tote Bags

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Family Fun Tote Bags

As part of the DMA’s return to free general admission, the Education Division is creating a host of activities that can be utilized by visitors anytime the Museum is open.  The Family Fun Tote Bag is an anytime activity we are particularly excited about and eager to share with families.

Each tote bag is centered around a specific theme, like Color or The 5 Senses, and is filled with a variety of collaborative activities that are appropriate for children of all ages.  Activities fall under four categories–Write, Make, Talk, and Play–and therefore support diverse learning styles and cater to personal interests.

WRITE – Visitors interested in observation and reflection while in the galleries are invited to…

Family completing a writing activity in the American Art gallery.

Family completing a writing activity in the American Art gallery.

– Use their senses to write a poem about what they see in an artwork.

– Generate a Mad-Lib using sensory adjectives.

– Compose a postcard to a friend about a work of art.

– Create a narrative based on a work of art using story dice.

 

 

MAKE – For the family members eager for hands-on activities the tote bag encourages…

Creating with the Materials Grab Bag

– Sketching a work of art with mixed-up, wacky colors!

– Creating a 3-dimensional illustration by drawing on a styrofoam sheet.

– Using a viewfinder to focus on and sketch specific details of an artwork.

– Producing a unique, site-specific work of art in the galleries using the Materials Grab Bag.

 

 

TALK – Enthusiasts of discussion-based activities will enjoy…

Color mixing activity

Color mixing activity

– Working as a family to talk about a work of art using as many movement words as possible.

– Searching for a favorite color in at least three different works of art and explaining what you like about each.

– Using adjectives and sensory details to describe a work of art to a family member that has been blindfolded.

– Experimenting with mixing colors together using the color paddles, and describing what you see.

PLAY – Families with active learners will enjoy…

Playing a game in the galleries

Playing a game in the galleries

– Playing the card game Memory, with a colorful twist!

– Testing one another with brainteasers.

– Staging a game of charades inspired by the surrounding works of art.

– Following their noses to find a work of art that matches a smell jar from the bag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beauty of the Family Fun Tote Bags is each individual family member can design their own museum experience based on personal interest!  Families can explore works of art together by participating in collective games and writing activities.  Or, for more individualized learning, each member can choose and perform a different activity while still sharing the same space.

Working on separate Tote Bag activities

Working on separate Tote Bag activities

Exploring new activities together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Family Fun Tote Bags are still in the testing phase, but they should be available soon for visitors to check out in the Center for Creative Connections–so keep an eye out for them on your next visit to the Museum!

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

It’s another gorgeous sunny day in November here in Dallas. This warm and temperate fall weather could not have been more perfect for the recent opening of the new Klyde Warren Park right across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art. Just two weeks ago, this new urban green space celebrated it’s grand opening with over fifty free programs and a whopping 44,000 excited visitors. The DMA also participated in the lively festivities, offering outdoor art-making workshops and even a re-enactment of the ancient Maya ballgame in connection with our exhibition The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico. The park continues to provide free daily programs, and has already become a populated community space beloved by the locals.

This 5.2 acre deck park features a children’s playground, a gated dog park, putting greens, ping-pong tables, a reading area, and plenty of open green grass to play or picnic on. With something for absolutely everyone, the park brings people together from all walks of life.

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If you’re taking advantage of this wonderful weather and want to explore some of the DMA’s outdoor spaces, we have a couple beautiful spots for you to check out as well. For a tranquil stroll surrounded by trees, waterfalls, and life size sculptures, I highly reccomend heading out to the Sculpture Garden: it’s the perfect place to find inspiration or relaxation.

The Fleischner Courtyard is another great outdoor space to enjoy some sun or shade.

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There are a few special areas of the museum where the archituecture allows for the exterior and interior space to interact, creating a sense of the natural world from the inside. One of my favorite such places is the Atrium Cafe, where colorful glass Chihuly flowers float in the frame of the floor-to-ceiling window. With the colors made vibrant by sunlight and romantic by moonlight, it’s a breath-taking sight at any time of the day.

The recent Karla Black installation titled Necessity seems to also create a similar relationship between man-made objects and nature. Cascading down from the ceiling in front of the glass doors to the Sculpture Garden, the cellophane of this large-scale sculpture catches the natural light and produces a sparkling, rippling effect much like a stream or waterfall. The holes in the sculpture and translucent material allow for glimpses of the trees and nature just beyond the doors of the artwork. While standing in the concourse it’s easy to feel as if you’re transported to an outdoor oasis.

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I hope you all enjoy this weather while it lasts- you now know where I go to soak up the sun!

Hannah Burney
Community Teaching Programs Assistant

Artworks used:

  • Dale Chihuly, Hart Window, 1995, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Linda and Mitch Hart
  • Karla Black, Necessity, 2012, Courtesy Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London and Galerie Gisele Captain, Cologne

Community Connection: Booker T. Washington Learning Lab

Being a part of the Dallas Arts District has its distinct advantages. One advantage is being located within walking distance of other arts institutions, making it easier to develop close and in-depth partnerships. For instance, we have just started the second year of our Learning Lab partnership with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In this partnership, DMA Education staff work with Visual Arts teachers to lead experiences and projects at the DMA and at the school (the school also partners in this way with the Dallas Theater Center and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra).

This year, Andrea and Shannon are working with Krystal Read and Leslie Eames and their junior portfolio classes.

Krystal Read

Describe this class and what you envision your students doing throughout the year.

Krystal: It’s a great opportunity since it’s taught by both a school instructor and museum educator, and students will be learning about different aspects of the art world. So, we’ll cover things like aesthetics, museum practices, and a little bit of contemporary art.  A lot of what they’ll be doing in class at school is preparing for their portfolio and getting career-ready.  I think the museum helps expose them to that type of professionalism.

Leslie: It is kind of a dual class, with two parts combined together.  One part is preparing the students for their senior year by writing resumes, making a portfolio, and all the things that come with being a senior at Booker T., such as a senior show and a portfolio day with visiting colleges.  We’re also preparing students who might want to go right into the workforce by showing them what the world has to offer them as artists.  The other half of our class is Learning Lab and working with the DMA and Shannon Karol.  Shannon visited our classroom earlier this week, and the excitement level was astounding. The students are very excited to learn about the behind-the-scenes preparation for exhibits.  Many don’t realize that you’re often not just an artist; you’re also a critic and a curator.

Leslie Eames with Gary Pierce Jr. and her son Madden

What are you most excited about or looking forward to in this partnership?

Krystal: I’m most excited about the interactive experiences and that so much of our class is taking place outside of the classroom.  I’m organizing an opportunity for them to possibly do an earth-friendly installation at Klyde Warren Park.  The students are doing something different in this class; a lot have a more classical, traditional training in art, so we’re forcing them to step outside the box.

For me, it’s also so exciting because I started off in museum education and I wanted to do more teaching.  I’m excited that those paths have finally crossed back over and somehow synced back together.

Leslie: I am excited that I get to learn as much as the students about the DMA.  I had no idea that I would be teaching this class, or that it existed.  As I met with my supervisor before school started, we went over course expectations and I just couldn’t believe what an awesome job I had and that I get to learn with the students.

What was a highlight of your summer vacation? 

Krystal: This past summer, I was overwhelmed with weddings, and I’m getting married myself. We’ve gone to so many weddings in the past few months.  We went to Houston for a wedding, and the next morning we went to The Breakfast Klub, a soul food brunch café that was amazing.  Breakfast is my favorite meal; I just love it.  As silly as it sounds, I was so excited about having good food.

Leslie: The highlight of my summer was taking a month off between my last job and this job and spending that month with my five-year-old son, which is something I’ve never been able to do.  He didn’t know what summer was; I’ve had him in Montessori up until now, so he didn’t know people had summers off.  We took a train ride to Oklahoma and a couple of different road trips, and made sure we had all the summer fun we could have.  We both learned we have summer vacation every year to look forward to.

Look for future blog posts about the fun and exciting experiences we’ll share with these students and teachers throughout the 2012-13 school year!

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Community Connection: Free Association

The current Community Partner Response Installation in the Center for Creative Connections invites visitors to contemplate space in relation to the African American experience.  Titled Free Association and designed by artists associated with the South Dallas Cultural Center, the installation provides a variety of experiences that include sound, poetry, media, and movement while exploring the notion of limitations of space.

South Dallas Cultural Artists. From left: Harold Steward, Patrick Washington, Ava Wilson, Vicki Meek, Michelle Gibson, Malik Dillard.

Collaborators on this project and their areas of expertise include Malik Dillard, media; Michelle Gibson, dance; Vicki Meek, visual; Harold Steward, theater; Patrick Washington, media; and Ava Wilson, poetry.  Read their perspectives on the installation below, along with their free association responses to the words community, creativity, and art.  

Vicki – What was your vision for this project?  Free Association was created around the concept of limited space and how such limitations can either contain you or spur you to stretch beyond them. The general idea was to explore the history of African Americans within the context of this concept, paying close attention to how African Americans have used creativity to transcend societal constrictions. The more specific idea was to explore the performing, visual, literary & media arts as means of expressing the transcendence of limitations.

Inspired by the installation title Free Association, what is the FIRST word or phrase that comes to mind when you read the following terms?

Community = Essential
Creativity = Boundless
Art = Life 

Harold – How did you integrate theater with the other components of the installation?
More than theater, I was working with some of the components of performance studies. In particular, I wanted to look at the ways in which people naturally operate in “open space” and how that differs when space is confined. One of the many attributes of people of African descent is that we have historically found ways to work within the confines forced upon us when we are taken outside of the continent of Africa, and held on to some cultural traditions while creating new ones in very limited physical and sociological spaces.  The guiding question I had was, “What cultural practices and survival techniques did descendants of Africa keep or create once they arrived on the American shore, and where do they intersect?” The workshop that I offered in conjunction with the installation used Theater of the Oppressed games to cause the participants to be conscience of things that they feel, hear, and see, and the effect these things have on the individual or groups of people when they go unrecognized.

Community = Web- to destroy the community you destroy the web, to build a community you build the web
Creativity = Kuumba –The Kwanzaa principles that demands that we leave our community better than we found it
Art = Knowing what beauty to keep and what issues to call out

Ava – How did you connect poetry to the ideas of free association and space?
The written word is very powerful.  Through the use of several literary devices – metaphor, allusion, symbolism, etc. –  tethered specifically by imagery, I wanted to allow the reader to visualize what enslavement may have been like.  I wanted to create a “free association”, if you will, for the reader.  As for space, I wanted the taut nature of the language and the use of references to shape and dimension to show the vastness of the universe and in the African world in contrast to the narrowness that was the dungeons, slave ships, and realities that the African faced in the west.

Community = Family
Creativity = Spirituality
Art = Life

Patrick – How did you use media to enhance the installation?
We used digital photography, streaming video feed, and an electronic music production program to enhance our installation.

Community =  UNITY
Creativity = ART
Art = LIFE

Malik – How did the use of media enhance the installation? I feel that the media side of the installation creates interaction and gives a great visual for dance instruction.

Community = People coming together
Creativity = Music/Art
Art = Dance/Spoken Word/ Music

Explore Free Association and your own creative responses in the Center for Creative Connections through October 12.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community


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