Posts Tagged 'family learning'

Studio Doors Are Open—Come On In!

Calling all weekend crafters, makers, tinkerers, and artists! The DMA’s Art Studio is opening its doors to one and all starting in January 2019. On the first and third weekend of every month, drop by and give your creativity a workout with a hands-on art-making project for the entire family. Whether you prefer to wield a paintbrush or squish some clay, we’ll have something to inspire your inner artist. Materials and projects will switch up every month, and DMA staff will be on hand to demonstrate techniques and share fun facts about art and artists in the DMA’s collection.

In January we’re kicking off Open Studio by making landscape monotypes inspired by the exhibition Ida O’Keeffe: Escaping Georgia’s Shadow. We’ll supply the paint and paper—you bring the fun!

Open Studio 1

Open Studio is available for FREE on the first and third Saturday and Sunday of the month from noon to 4:00 p.m. All supplies are provided, and no registration or ticket is required.

Leah Hanson is the Director of Family, Youth, and School Programs at the DMA.

Let’s Get BooksmART!

 

Our literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live just announced the 2017 lineup of award-winning authors and performers, and we are just overflowing with excitement! Arts & Letters is the only literary series that is part of an art museum (that we know of!), and we love celebrating the connections between reading, writing, and art! Every year we host some wonderful children’s authors, and this year is no different. Get cozy with these books while the weather is still chilly, then come see us at the DMA to make some artful literary connections with the whole family!


the-inquisitors-tale-coverAdam Gidwitz
Sunday, February 26, 3:00 p.m.

Adam Gidwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of the Grimm trilogy. He spent six years researching his latest book, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, in which the adventures of three children take them through medieval France to escape prejudice and persecution. They save sacred texts from being burned, get taken captive by knights, face a farting dragon, and face a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel. Learn more.

Before the talk, your family can embark on a scavenger hunt exploring works of art in Art and Nature in the Middle Ages.


thumb-erin_philipsteadErin and Philip C. Stead
Tuesday, April 4, 11:30 a.m.

Erin and Philip Stead live and work side by side creating heartwarming stories such as A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Erin’s forthcoming book Tony returns to themes of friendship and loyalty with the late poet Ed Galing’s tale of a boy and his horse. Philip’s latest, Samson in the Snow, highlights the power of simple acts of kindness to bring hope and light to even the coldest world. Learn more.

Following their talk at 3:30 p.m., join us for an illustration workshop (ages 6 and older) led by Erin and Philip Stead. Advance reservations strongly recommended as space is limited.


playbookKwame Alexander
Saturday, June 10, 2:00 p.m.

New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander kicks off summer reading with his latest book, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. A strategy guide written with middle grade readers in mind but motivational for all ages, The Playbook “rules” contain wisdom from inspiring role models such as Nelson Mandela, Michelle Obama, Lebron James, and more. The author of 21 books, Alexander received the 2015 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor for his book The Crossover. Learn more.


See the entire lineup for the January-June season to see if your favorite author will be coming to town this year. Hope to see you there!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Lessons Learned from a Kid Whisperer

Last summer, resident kid whisperer, Leah Hanson, asked me to step in to teach one of her Toddler Art classes. I had observed Leah’s Early Learning programs in the past and thought it would be a cinch. After all, Leah made it look easy!

Her classes were like the scene of Edward Hicks’ The Peacable Kingdom. Teaching her class would be a breeze! Right?

Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom, c. 1846-1847, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund

…WRONG!

There was nothing “peaceable” about the scene that ensued. In fact, it much more closely resembled Michelangelo’s Torment of Saint Anthony, on view at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.

Deeply humbled by the experience, I returned to Leah’s classes to watch with a much more observant eye. While she made the classes look easy, Leah was carefully employing mindful techniques to help her class go smoothly.

Here’s what I learned:

Don’t just give the rules, explain them

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Any child who has ever taken a class with Leah is ready to tell you, “We have oils in our skin that are good for us, but bad for the art. That’s why we don’t touch the art!” Give the agency of rules to the child by asking them to help you be the protector of the art.

 

 

 

Keep your cool

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With a group of excited children, it can be tempting to raise your voice level to be heard over them. This is a downward spiral. As you get louder, the kids will also get louder and pretty soon you will be at a full cacophony. Instead, lower your voice until you’re in a whisper. The kiddos will quiet down to hear your “secret” information.

 

 

Speak their language

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Think back. Way back. Remember when your teacher would tell you to fold your paper “hotdog style” or sit “crisscross applesauce” and you knew exactly what she meant? Especially with toddlers, it’s important to know that you are being understood, not just heard. Don’t know kid lingo? Befriend an elementary school teacher to teach you the ropes!

 
Ask about it

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Instead of trying to interpret a child’s artwork on your own (and risk misinterpreting it!), ask them to tell you about their work of art. You will be amazed by what you find out!

 

 

 

 

Play isn’t a bad word

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Museums are often thought of as solemn places, where education takes precedent over entertainment. But at the DMA, we believe that play is important too! Cognitive research has revealed that play is the central device for exploring and learning, developing new skills, and making connections with others. Playing thoughtfully with children will also help nurture their natural curiosity and creativity. 

Be specific in your praise

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Instead of saying, “That’s a great painting” try to take a closer look at the child’s artwork and find a specific quality to praise, such as “I love how you combined straight lines and zig zag lines in your painting”. This will encourage you to look more closely at the artwork and the child will appreciate your attentive eye.

 

 

I returned to the Early Learning programs with these tips and tricks and was amazed at how well the next class went. Practice Leah’s approach and you, too, will be kid whispering in no time!

Emily Wiskera
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Family Ties

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The Costantino Family

The Costantino family has been coming to the DMA for years, and we’ve had the pleasure of watching the children grow up with art as a regular part of their childhood. Mom Rose is a homeschooling extraordinaire with a background in play therapy who brings her children to the Museum at least twice a month. When the Family Programs team decided to experiment with the idea of kids creating activities for kids, we knew just who to turn to! The Costantino kids (above, ages 10, 6, 3 and 8), stepped into the role quite easily and helped us create a brand new Art to Go family tote that will soon be available for all visitors to check out and use in the galleries while at the DMA. Here’s a peek into life with these fantastic kids from their mom, Rose.

What was your first visit to the DMA with your children like?

The first time I took all four kids to the Museum, I was overwhelmed. I was worried that they would touch something they shouldn’t or act completely crazy. We stayed too long that first time. It felt like such a victory to even get there in one piece, that I wanted them to see everything.

What actually happened was the Museum guards were very nice and helpful. The kids loved all the different things to see. Then once we found Arturo’s Nest, we were hooked. The Nest is a super fun play room. It is a great way to end the day.

Littlest

Now that you’ve been coming regularly to the Museum for years, what has changed about the way you visit with your children?

We talk about what we are going to see before we get there. I try and weigh everyone’s opinion. We all enjoy seeing a new exhibit. We might take 10 minutes to walk through–the kids are eager to see what’s around the corner, so we walk through quickly. The next visit we might go back to the same exhibit to look at just one piece. Not trying to see it all in one visit is the best way we have changed our visits.

Painting like Monet at the Arboretum

Painting like Monet at the Arboretum

How have regular visits to the Museum influenced your children beyond the gallery walls?

They have become so confident in any museum setting. They recognize artists and their work in a variety of places. And, they love creating their own works of art!

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I know your kids have seen many different exhibitions come and go here at the DMA. What have been some of their favorites?

Some of their favorites include: The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum, Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, Jim Hodges: Give More than You Take, and The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.

Oldest

We specifically chose to feature your family as our “Guest Family Curators” for a new Art to Go Tote because we knew your children have a lot of experience interacting with art in a variety of ways. They know that there’s so much more to do at a museum than just stand in front of a painting! What was it like for you and the children to come up with ideas for other families to use in the Museum?

We had a blast creating this bag! The kids had tons more ideas. Art for them is an extension of play.

What piece of advice would you give to parents who feel like they don’t know enough about art to enjoy a visit to the Museum with their children?

Don’t be intimidated! When you take your child to the art museum, try to let your child lead. Think broadly. Look for colors, shapes or themes. Walk around and see what your child is drawn to. Take some of their ideas and try them out at home. Enjoy yourself and your family!

Thanks for sharing, Rose! The Costantino Family Favorites Art to Go tote will debut in early summer. Be sure to check it out and see what fun activities the kids came up with!

{All photos courtesy of Rose Costantino.}

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

Totes Awesome! Art To Go Family Bags

Around this time last year, I gave a sneak peek into an exciting new anytime activity that our Education team was testing. After much preparation, redesign, and enthusiasm over the past year, the DMA is now premiering the Art To Go Family Tote Bags for free and public use! Beginning this week, visitors can check out these special totes at the Visitor Services desk and enhance their Museum experience by engaging in a variety of creative activities.

Each Art To Go bag is centered around a particular theme, the first of which are Color and the Senses. The corresponding activities within each bag are general enough to be used with any work of art in the DMA galleries, so the possibilities are endless. The tote bag activities cater to diverse learning styles, encouraging visitors to design their own Museum experience by deciding whether they want to Write, Make, Talk, or Play.

With Art To Go bags, family members can use their imaginations to discover the different scents and aromas present in an Abstract Expressionist painting, or perhaps use their bodies to clap, stomp, snap, whistle and sing to create a soundscape for a Buddhist sculpture. Children can write a postcard to a family member describing their visit to the Museum using all of their senses, or use a viewfinder to focus in and sketch a single section of a French Impressionist painting. The great news is that activities and bag themes will change periodically, so families can create and enjoy new educational and artistic adventures each time they visit!
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Art To Go Family Tote Bags are designed to be creative catalysts, encouraging families to spend more time in the galleries both connecting with works of art and connecting with each other. We invite you to take one of our activity bags along on your next (or very first) visit to the DMA! Bags will be available for free check out at the Visitor Services desk during regular Museum hours. And DMA Friends who complete activities from both bags can earn the Tote-ally Family Badge!

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Art is for Families

Do you remember family visits to museums as a kid?  Picking favorite artworks together, seeing something completely perplexing/absolutely beautiful, or learning (maybe the hard way) that you can’t touch the art?

My colleague, C3 Gallery Specialist Jessica Nelson, is dedicating her master’s thesis research capturing such experiences.  Last week, Jessica forwarded me a link to her more-than-excellent blog Art is for Families.  The blog documents her Art Education master’s thesis project, for which Jessica is embarking on a series of wonder-full museum adventures with her six-year-old daughter, Julia.  Jessica’s research focuses on family learning in museums: specifically, how museum-produced self-guided materials help families have meaningful experiences with artworks.  She is also interested in inter-generational collaborative research and art-making as a vehicle for storytelling.

Together, Jessica and Julia will visit six museums in the metroplex, making use of available self-guided materials, and documenting their journeys in a variety of media. The two are equal collaborators: Julia and Jessica make art together, collect stories, take separate photos of their experiences, and throughout, have a dialogue about their process.

So far, Julia and Jessica have visited the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art—taking advantage of the Modern’s self-guided sketchbook, Ten Pages and the Carter’s Postcard Tour.  Below are just a few of many pictures of their visits and resulting projects:

Julia twirled through my office last week, just in time for me to take the adorable mother-daughter photo above for this post.  Julia, we cannot wait to see more of your art and read (and read and read) more of your stories about museums.  Jessica, what an amazing project!  We look forward to learning from your research.

To have a self-guided family adventure at the DMA, ask for one of our four bite-sized Self-Guided tours at the Visitor Services desk, or print them at home.  And for more family-focused art-making and art-exploring ideas, visit We Art Family! The DMA Family Blog.

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach


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