Posts Tagged 'Dallas Independent School District'

Seldom Scene: School Dais

With school back in full swing we thought we would showcase the students from Dallas ISD’s Skyline Architecture Cluster who created Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs. See the installation in person in the Center for Creative Connections on Level 1 through mid-November.

Seldom Scene: Something Beautiful

Through the Eyes of Our Children – Something Beautiful opened yesterday on the Museum’s M2 level. The exhibition showcases the work of more than seventy students from several elementary schools in the South Dallas–Fair Park area of the Dallas Independent School District. We wanted to share some photos of the installation and inspire you to find something beautiful of your own.

Photography by Adam Gingrich, Marketing Assistant at the Dallas Museum of Art

Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs by Skyline High School

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The Center for Creative Connections (C3) welcomes the unique perspective of community partners through a series of C3 Community Partner Response Installations (CPRI). Installed in a central gallery for approximately six months, each CPRI is a response to the current exhibition in the Center and offers visitors an opportunity to consider the themes of the exhibition in new ways. CPRI are the products of close, collaborative, and interactive working relationships between community partners and DMA staff.

Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs is the sixth CPRI to be installed. Students and faculty from the Architecture Cluster at Skyline High School in the Dallas Independent School District created this installation of classroom chair assemblages that stretch, hang, fly, and twist throughout a central gallery in C3. For these students, the process of creating Sculpting Space involved the application of classroom ideas and concepts to a real-world scenario and fostered many new connections with the DMA and Dallas-based cunningham architects.

“In order for us to flourish and bloom as students, we must first open ourselves to new ideas.”—Alberto Huerta

“Working with more people, you will hear interesting ideas that you never would have thought of alone.”—Erica Jackson

Several months ago, the students began the project by sketching chairs. Skyline teachers Tom Cox and Peter Goldstein then led students in a variety of exercises including the study of negative and positive space in DMA artworks as well as investigating spatial concepts such as fluent, voluminous, implosion, organic, and rotating through the making of 2D drawings and 3D models. Several workshops with architects Gary Cunningham and Rizi Faruqui and DMA staff focused on how to connect the chairs, what connectors would hold the chair assemblages together, and how to consider the visitors’ experiences in a space sculpted by chairs. Along the way, three DISD elementary schools swapped out their old kindergarten chairs for new ones, thus providing the high school students with chairs full of character and marked with history.

Google Sketch-Up was used to build scale models of the gallery space, providing a blueprint for the final installation of the assemblages. Videos created by Element X Creative accompany the installation, documenting behind-the-scenes aspects of the project and featuring several Skyline students sharing their experiences.

“The one true connection we have made was with the chairs and when we were little kids. They bring back memories of childhood.”—Luis Garcia

“The new connections we make will be with the people that view our work. We will not be there to explain what we made, so we have to try to convey that in shape and form.”—Sandra Benitez

Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs will be on view in the Center for Creative Connections through October.

Nicole Stutzman is Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships.

Ordinary to Extraordinary: A Short Story about Chairs

“Success in your career begins in an ordinary classroom, in an ordinary chair.”
— Diana Maldonado, grade 11, Skyline High School (DISD)

 

Standard-issue classroom chairs

It is a good thing to see the world from a different point of view every now and then.  We can stand and walk in someone else’s shoes, but what is it like to sit in someone else’s chair? What if the seat of this chair rises only fourteen inches above the ground?  I recently had the opportunity to take a seat in these small-size chairs while visiting pre-K and kindergarten classrooms at Dealey Montessori, Medrano Elementary, and Urban Park Elementary in DISD. Two 11th grade students from Skyline High School, Yvonne and Lauren, joined me during the visits to interview several young students who sit in fourteen-inch chairs every day at school.

For me, sitting in one of these chairs is a little bit magical.  The world is scaled down and tiny – chalkboards hang at a lower level, tables are shorter, and objects on the lowest bookshelf (which seem to require a further reach) are more colorful and interesting.  The chair-sitting experience  may also be magical for the students who sit in these small chairs every day as they get used to going to school, learn to write, and make new friends. Chairs are an important part of the school day.  They are a place to sit and rest, but also a place to participate in important and creative work.  Students shared with Lauren, Yvonne, and me various examples of the work they do in their chairs:

  • learning to read books
  • making a lion mask
  • practicing writing letters and words
  • drawing butterflies, ice cream cones, and hearts
  • singing with friends
  • painting
  • counting numbers

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Our visits to schools are part of a larger partnership project between the Dallas Museum of Art and the Architecture Cluster at Skyline High School.  Lauren and Yvonne are just two among more than eighty Skyline Architecture Cluster students who created an amazing installation now on view in the Center for Creative Connections.  The installation, Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs, features fourteen-inch, standard-issue classroom chairs in all colors as the primary material.  The Skyline students have transformed ordinary chairs into extraordinary chair assemblages that sculpt the space of one gallery.  Museum visitors move through the space, walking under and around clusters of chairs.  Look for more information in the coming weeks about Skyline’s unique installation on the blog Uncrated.

Google Sketch-Up model for a chair assemblage that reflects the spatial concept, "fluent"

Early in the partnership project, Skyline students and their teachers, Peter Goldstein and Tom Cox, had the brilliant idea to get “used” chairs from three DISD elementary schools.  They were interested in chairs with stories to tell — marked-up with years of scratches and crayon scribbles.  The DMA purchased hundreds of new chairs, and then Skyline students swapped the new chairs for old chairs at Dealey, Medrano, and Urban Park.  As part of the process, the elementary school students were invited to draw their chairs, write about them, and think about all of the many things they do while seated in the classroom.  Video interviews with pre-K and kindergarten students about their chairs are included with the DMA installation.   Special thanks to the teachers, students, and staff at Dealey Montessori, Medrano Elementary, and Urban Park in DISD for being a part of this wonderful partnership!

“The one true connection we have made was with the chairs and when we were little kids.  They bring back memories of our childhood.  We also have a connection to the students who once sat in these chairs where they did their work, and colored and painted.”
Luis Garcia, grade 10, Skyline High School (DISD)


Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

 


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