Posts Tagged 'docents'

That’s a Wrap: 2016-2017 School Tours

As the school year ends and our outstanding DMA docents take a well-deserved summer break, we want to celebrate another successful year of K-12 visits! The year’s been jam-packed with exciting exhibitions, new learning experiences (did you know we now offer a STEAM tour?), and, of course, a multitude of tours and programs geared to help visitors of all ages feel at home in the Museum and discover art. Let’s take a look at our stats for the year:

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How many groups visited the Museum?

  • 1,284 Visits Scheduled
  • 720 Schools or Community Groups
  • 103 Independent School Districts from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Iowa, and Florida

How many students received docent-guided tours?

  • 36,495 K-12 students
  • Approximately 2,700 hours discussing works of art with students!

What were the most popular tours?

  • A Looking Journey: 17,343 4th graders; 1,166 hours in the gallery
  • Mesquite Week: 2,740 students: 118 hours
  • STEAM: 497 students; 33 hours
  • Stories in Art: 1,596 2-3rd graders; 110 hours
  • Collection Highlights: 2,550 students; 213 hours
  • Arts of the Americas: 4,361 5th graders; 293 hours

How many visitors toured special exhibitions?

What do our visitors say about their experience at the DMA?

“Our 5th graders really enjoyed their visit to the DMA. Our docents were great, and I even learned something new! The tour went well, we had enough time to explore on our own, and we ended up having lunch in the courtyard. It was a wonderful, new experience for them. Thank you!” – Founders Classical Academy, Oct. 28

“We had a wonderful time. All museum staff were friendly. Our docent was outstanding. She spoke directly to the kids, she was animated, energetic, enthusiastic and passionate. She made the tour very interesting. She has amazing storytelling skills. She pulled us all in with her soft spoken mannerism and entertained and educated us all with her knowledge.” – Bennett Elementary,  Jan. 11

“I wanted to take a moment and thank you and your staff for being so professional and hospitable during our Museum visit and tour on February 28th. All of the teachers had glowing reports of how well things went this year and how much our students enjoyed their time. These museum visits are the things our students will remember decades from now and are very impactful to them culturally and artistically. Our teachers and students also enjoyed having the time to walk through and enjoy the museum after the tour. Please pass my thanks and appreciation on to the docents and staff at your museum. PS We are already looking forward to next year!” – Maple Lawn Elementary, Feb. 28

Thank you to all our volunteers, staff, and visitors for an amazing school year!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Friday Photos: Volunteers and “México 1900–1950”

As part of National Volunteer Week, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the amazing volunteers helping to bring México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde to our community. Different volunteer groups have come together to make DMA Family Days a resounding success. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, we’re able to offer art highlights, studio activities, and the Pop-Up Art Spot in the Art of the Ancient Americas Galleries, in addition to free admission to the exhibition on those special Sundays.

What’s more, Go Van Gogh bilingual after school volunteers have helped share the exhibition outside of the Museum through community outreach programs. Here’s a quick look at how volunteers are helping our community experience México 1900–1950.

Are you inspired to get involved? Explore volunteer opportunities at the DMA!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Happy National Volunteer Week!

April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week in North America. This special week was created in the 1970s to celebrate and recognize volunteer service across the country. We are so fortunate to have a fantastic group of volunteers at the DMA who support our programs everyday. Since January, DMA volunteers have already donated over 3,600 hours of service and helped create countless experiences for our visitors! In the spirit of National Volunteer Week, we wanted to share a mini volunteer spotlight for each group to celebrate their daily achievements and show our thanks.

Everyday in the Center for Creative Connections, our Junior League of Dallas and C3 volunteers welcome visitors and encourage them to interact with art in new ways. They are always willing to engage in new opportunities when they arise.

Our Docents share their knowledge and passion for the Museum with hundreds of visitors each week. They are constantly researching and learning new things to ensure their tours and access programs are the best they can be.

Arts & Letters Live volunteers help make our many BooksmART and author events possible while serving as ushers, ticket takers, and greeters. Their ongoing commitment to this speaker series makes each year a success.

Go van Gogh volunteers travel to dozens of classrooms each school year, bringing art education to children across Dallas. We truly appreciate their enthusiasm and dedication in delivering these experiences across the city.

Community Engagement volunteers are always happy to lend a hand at special DMA programs including Late Night and Membership events. They are truly one of our most flexible groups!

The Teen Advisory Council is always thinking of innovative new ideas to involve the community and recently launched the Disconnect to Reconnect teen night. We are also looking forward to welcoming a new group of Teen Ambassadors who will join us this summer.

Thank you so much to all of our wonderful and amazing volunteers! You all help make our programs a reality and we sincerely appreciate your ongoing generosity and support. If you are interested in becoming a DMA volunteer, please visit the Volunteer page or email volunteers@dma.org.

Andi Orkin
Volunteer Coordinator for Programming

Volunteer Spotlight: DMA Docents & Mesquite Week

Here at the DMA, you might notice both staff and our amazing DMA docents breathing a sigh of relief. Last week we successfully wrapped up Mesquite Week, one of our most challenging and significant partnerships of the year.

Mesquite Week was started in 1985 by Dr. William Hooper, the arts coordinator for the Mesquite Independent School District. Inspired by MISD’s tradition of offering students an opportunity to visit the symphony and the opera, Dr. Hooper hoped to establish an annual visit to the DMA. However, the DMA had just moved to the new downtown building—folks were wary about too many kids, too much of a time commitment, and not enough docents. Susan Cueller, the Head Docent at the time, took up the challenge of writing the teaching materials, coordinating a schedule, and overseeing the tours. Interestingly, Mesquite Week was the first time we provided pre-visit materials for teachers to build into their lesson plans. The partnership was very successful the first year, and MISD and the DMA have been coordinating to plan trips ever since.

This year we served all of MISD’s 6th grade students and the 8th grade visual arts students. That’s a staggering 2,740 students in six days–wow!

We sat down with Susan Cuellar and Joanie Smith, who currently shares Head Docent responsibilities with Jane Sibley, to chat about Mesquite Week and their experience as DMA docents.

 

 

Thanks to the DMA docents, we’re able to pull off ambitious programs like Mesquite Week and offer thousands of students guided tours of the Museum each year. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we’re reminded of how grateful we are for our volunteers who share their time and passion for art so generously, and I’m sure 2,740 MISD students would agree.

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Angela Medrano
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Friday Photos: 2015-2016 School Tours

It’s hard to believe K-12 visits for 2015-2016 school year wrapped up last Friday! We’ve had a busy year here at the DMA welcoming visitors of all ages, leading tours, and helping them make meaningful connections with works of art. Now it’s time to take a look back on all we’ve accomplished!

How many groups visited the Museum?

  • 1,227 Visits Scheduled
  • 711 Schools or Community Groups
  • 96 Independent School Districts from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico

How many students received docent-guided tours?

  • 37,374 K-12 students
  • Approximately 2,698 hours discussing works of art with students!

How many students completed self-guided visits?

  • 12,275 K-12 students

What were the most popular tours?

  • A Looking Journey: 17,357 4th graders; 1,158 hours in the gallery
  • Arts of the Americas: 5,172 5th graders; 345 hours
  • Collection Highlights: 2,386 students; 160 hours
  • Recipes for Art: 545 K & 1st graders; 37 hours

How many visitors toured special exhibitions?

  • Inca: Conquests of the Andes: 888 students; 60 hours
  • International Pop: 1,312 students; 88 hours
  • Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots: 1,694 students; 113 hours
  • Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty: 370 students; 25 hours

What do our visitors say about their experience at the DMA?

“The students had a wonderful time, and they are already asking when we can visit again!” – Skyline High School, Dec. 6

“The docents were very knowledgeable (as has always been the case in the past three years that our school has been visiting). We thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you again for providing this artistic experience in our Dallas community.”– Urban Park Elementary, Feb. 17

“Thank you so much for having such amazing people working with our kiddos! We LOVED the DMA! So grateful!”– Nathan Adams Elementary, March 10

“Our docent was so knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and great with my seniors. I love that I get to bring my kids to the DMA every year, and this year’s trip was made even better because of our docent. See you next year!”– John Horn High School, May 6

Thank you to all our volunteers, staff, and visitors for an amazing school year!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Teacher Resources: Full STEAM Ahead!

We’ve all heard about the  importance of STEM–science, technology, engineering, and math–to our education system in a technology-focused world, but what about the creative thinking that goes hand-in-hand with these subjects? With this in mind, the Rhode Island School of Design began a push to include art, transforming STEM to STEAM. As an educator, you can find many great STEAM resources here at the Dallas Museum of Art!

For several years, DMA Education Staff and our group of STEAM Docents have been working together to develop and test STEAM tours and activities for multiple three-hour long visits by eighth grade students from Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School. Themes for their visits include Art and Innovation, Design, Engineering, Conservation, and Nature and Art.

"Easy Edges" chair

Frank O. Gehry, “Easy Edges” chair, 1971, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund

The objective of their time at the Museum is to emphasize the connections between art, science, technology, engineering and math, especially in how artists and scientists invoke similar practices and ideas. One of their visits explores the innovative design of Frank Gehry’s “Easy Edges” chair. Students learned how Gehry layered corrugated cardboard to a two inch thickness to create an object that is aesthetically pleasing while still maintaining the ability to support considerable weight.

Rangel students creating a cardboard chair that can hold the weight of a doll inspired by Frank Gehry's Easy Edges chair. The catch? No glue or tape!

Rangel students creating a cardboard chair that can hold the weight of a doll, inspired by Frank Gehry’s “Easy Edges” chair. The catch? No glue or tape!

Two of our amazing STEAM docents, Susan Behrendt and Susan Fisk, asked their Rangel students the following question to see what they had learned about STEAM:

How does ART relate to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)? How do they relate to you?

Art relates to STEM because as you think and make the art you have to think about all of the things in STEM. Carefully analyzing the piece and including those things make it more eye catching. They relate to me because the art makes a study. – Genesis, May 2014

Art relates to STEM because we use it everywhere and it’s used to describe some of the events in history. Because of art we know far past back in history. We have to know all of these subjects for a good education. – Gallea, May 2014

Art is in everything. An example is geometry. Geometry incorporates art, science, and math. Another example is architecture. Architecture uses art, math, and engineering. It relates to me because I want to be an architect. – Isabella, May 2014

This spring, we lead our first STEAM in-service training for 170 art teachers from Fort Worth ISD, and released a comprehensive STEAM guide to our docent team. You can schedule a docent-guided tour or a teacher in-service yourself, and come explore the many connections between art and STEM here at the Museum!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

How Do We Love the DMA? Let Me Count the Ways

Here at the DMA, we owe a lot to our wonderful volunteers. They give of their time and talent to help lead student visits, access programs, and adult group visits. Oftentimes, they’re the public face of the Museum, welcoming our visitors and helping them make meaningful connections with the works of art. The DMA simply would not be as special as it is without them!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I asked our amazing team of docents which works of art from the DMA’s collection they especially love to share with our visitors.

Watch

Gerald Murphy, Watch, 1925, Oil on Canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist

One of my favorite paintings is Watch by Gerald Murphy. That was a magic time in Paris when painters, writers, and musicians worked together and inspired each other. The Murphys were a fascinating couple and his hard edge, hyper realistic paintings of everyday objects influenced later artists. He painted briefly, and out of about a dozen works, we own two, given to us by Murphy himself. There are letters from him about the gift in our archives. -Diane Roberts

 

El hombre

Rufino Tamayo, El Hombre (Man), 1953, Vinyl with Pigment on Panel, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association commission, Neiman-Marcus Company Exposition Funds [credit line published in 1997 DMA Guide to the Collections: Dallas Museum of Art, commissioned by the Dallas Art Association through Neiman-Marcus Exposition Funds

I have a long standing love affair with Rufino Tamayo’s El Hombre. I use it 4-5 times a month, maybe more often than that. I wrote a paper in graduate school on its acquisition by and significance to the DMA. I use it interactively on my tours to teach three ways of looking at art: eyes, mind, and heart. – Kelly Breazeale

 

daruma

Daruma, Hakuin Ekaku, n.d., Ink on Paper, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund

 

My new favorite work of art is the Daruma scroll by the Zen priest Hakuin Ekaku, because I love the simplicity and the meaning behind this form of art. The idea that it expresses the “true or formless self” appeals to me and some of my personal beliefs. Before I came to the Museum, I didn’t like or respect the work of Jackson Pollock, but after our session about him and his work, I gained a small glimpse of what he and his work are about. Then after hearing the lecture from Devon last week about the Zen Buddhist art, it began to make sense to me. I think that the Daruma scroll with its cartoon like appearance would appeal to children. I also think it would be fun for them to try their hand at drawing a picture in the style of the scroll. – Penny Hardy

Be sure to check out some of our docent’s favorite works, and many more, at the Dallas Museum of Art. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs


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