Posts Tagged 'farewell'

TTFN

Today’s post is bittersweet, as it will be our final one here on Canvas. Over the last eight years, DMA educators have enjoyed sharing our passion for art, creativity, and museum education with you here, and we hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about us and what we do at the Museum.

Throughout that time, we’ve recounted our programs, shared DIYs, engaged with art, and had lots of fun along the way, and we don’t want the fun to stop here. Though we’ve decided to end our blogging on this forum, we are excited to continue highlighting our projects on the DMA’s institutional blog, Uncrated.

So if you’re not following already, head over to Uncrated and check out the behind-the-scenes scoop on the DMA—we look forward to seeing you there!

Until then, ta-ta for now!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

Rising Stars

AT&T Stadium

As this year’s McDermott Interns wind down their time with us here at the Museum, I wanted take a moment to look back at all they’ve accomplished over the past eight + months–A LOT!

Gallery Talks

Each has researched works in our collection and presented a bite of insight over the lunch hour for our adult visitors during Gallery Talks. Our final intern talk will be this Wednesday at 12:15 pm with Marta–don’t miss it!

Blog Posts

They’ve written clever, informative posts on both of our blogs, Canvas and Uncrated. Angela even started a video series to give us a more in depth peek into intern life here at the Museum.

Professional Development

They’ve utilized their professional development funding to attend conferences, meet with colleagues, visit museums, and learn about opportunities for their future across the U.S., from L.A. to St. Louis to Maryland and beyond. Grace and Angela shared their experiences with us on here on Canvas as well.

Projects

Not only have they contributed countless hours of research toward the DMA collection, future exhibitions, and program planning, but they’ve also produced some exciting activities you can check out right now! Amy curated Multiple Selves, a small exhibition of works on paper which can be found in our Level 2 European Galleries, and Sara devised the plot for our upcoming Museum Murder Mystery. These are just a few examples–the whole list of each of their contributions would be much too long for one post!

Field Trips

And of course, they had some fun visiting artworks and collections across the Metroplex!

With plans to head off to grad school, embark on careers in museums and the arts, or even help us here at the DMA through the summer, we know these lovely ladies will see much success in their futures. We sure will miss them but are so excited to find out all the places they’ll go!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

Friday Photos: Smell Ya Later!

2015 McDermott Interns_American Gallery

It’s already that time of year when we must wish our current class of McDermott Interns farewell! We’ll certainly miss their smiling faces in the office next week, but we’ve made some lasting friendships and had some fun along the way.

Check out what they’ve done this year, and wish them well in their next adventure!

21288172662_07e3020ed3_z

Meeting staff their first week at the Museum

Having some holiday selfie fun!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

Marvelous Melissa

It's hard to resist the urge to push the balloons away.

Today we are bidding farewell to our dear friend Melissa Gonzales, who’s been at the DMA for almost 15 years. Her passion for education, her sincerity, and her confident nature are qualities that have helped make our Education Department stronger, and we’ll miss her wisdom, sparkle, positivity, extreme organization, drive, and creativity!

We know she has a lot of memories here, so we wanted to let her share just a few:

  • I’m most proud of….the relationships I’ve developed through my work with students, artists, colleagues, and community partners. These relationships grew out of projects that took a lot of time and work and were some of my most fulfilling professional experiences. Many of these professional relationships have grown into lasting personal friendships.
  • I’ll never forget…meeting Mark Bradford!  I’m a huge admirer of his work and I *might* have a teeny crush on him. While in town for the installation of his 2011 eponymous exhibition, Bradford participated in State of the Arts, a conversation with South Dallas Cultural Center Manager (and community partner and friend) Vicki Meek, moderated by Jeff Whittington. To my complete surprise, near the end of the conversation, Vicki paid me a generous compliment about a project I led with students at the South Dallas Cultural Center inspired by Bradford’s work. The next day, I was able to shake Bradford’s hand while shyly introducing myself as the person that Vicki had mentioned the night before. Bradford smiled kindly and said, “I know who you are.”

Mark Bradford with DMA Educators

  • Favorite gallery/art-making activity: We developed a Go van Gogh classroom outreach program called Creative Connections: Lights, Camera, Action! in conjunction with All the World’s a Stage: Celebrating Performance in the Visual Arts, an exhibition that commemorated the opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. In the spirit of making interdisciplinary connections, students divided into groups to write stories, compose original music and dance movements, create imaginative characters, and act out original skits inspired by works of art. I warned teachers beforehand that the classroom would become noisy once the students got to work brainstorming, inventing, and rehearsing. I absolutely loved the creative energy that you could hear and feel during that program, which culminated in clever and earnest student performances.
  • What’s something about your time at the DMA no one knows…I visited the Phil Collins: the world won’t listen exhibition almost every day that it was open. The three-part video installation showed everyday people from Colombia, Turkey, and Indonesia singing songs by The Smiths.  I am an enormous Smiths fan and I loved watching other fans pour out their hearts as they sang.  I watched the entire cycle of videos (about 45 minutes) on the last day and had to make myself leave.
  • I’ll most miss…my colleagues at the DMA: talented, smart, and fun people who work hard and are passionate about what they do.

Melissa, we’re all going to miss you, too!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Made This: Celebrating the DMA’s Resident McGuyver

After 16.5 years at the DMA, JC Bigornia, Manager of C3 Programs, is heading across the freeway to take the position of Manager of Mobile Innovation at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. JC is our McGuyver, always ready with an ingenious, perfect solution for any and every art-making challenge we throw his way. For his last day at the Museum, we’re taking a look not just at the countless small and brilliant projects he brought to life through his freakish artistic talent, but the way in which his worked shaped our department in larger ways.

Susan Diachisin, The Kelli and Allen Questrom Director of the Center for Creative Connections, perfectly captures what it is we all enjoy about our resident DIY expert:

JC is a creative and diligent art educator who has managed and taught thousands of programs for museum visitors during his tenure here. He worked with people of all ages, guiding them in careful looking at works of art from the collection and then making connections through an art making process.  He was at the helm of our popular Late Night Studio Creations, the drop-in art making program that hosts over 250 multi-age visitors each month. And for many years he led the drop-in weekend family Studio Creations that took place on every Saturday and Sunday all year long. He spent the summers managing logistics for the Summer Camp Program for children and teens, as well as many other family programs too numerous to mention here.

JC has a pretty high coolness factor that was perfect for his accomplishments of working with teens—a focus he originally started back in 2008. In 2013 he was the Project Manager of the IMLS Teen Learning Lab planning grant in partnership with the Perot. For that he spent extensive time researching teen developmental learning, designing innovative programs, and launching a DMA/Perot Teen Advisory Council (TAC). This project boosted his already popular Urban Armor program and launched Maker Club the Thursday night program focusing on the intersection of art and science. He recruited and met bi-monthly with the thirteen member TAC team, and collaboratively led experimental programs, visiting artist projects, and community projects in partnership with other Dallas organizations.

JC brings extensive artistic skills to the programs he designed. I can’t tell you how many times during the development process he had to test and produce project samples. He would say, “I’ll just make that.” And a short time later he would share a creation that was absolutely incredible.

As humble a person as JC is, there are a few memorable projects that you might have seen and may not know they were his:

If you were ever at the Materials Bar in the C3 Materials & Meanings exhibition you might have caught JC’s creative hands demonstrating how to work with materials on the video screens:

JC's hands demo art-making ideas in C3

JC’s hands demo art-making ideas in C3

Last year, JC developed a week-long teen summer camp program call Brains, Brains, Brains where the participants learned about the art and science of zombie culture. Inspired by our collection, they transformed themselves into zombies and went roaming in the galleries:

The Perot Museum entrance featured a mural designed by the TAC students led by JC:

Teen Art Council mural

Teen Art Council mural

JC’s students in the Urban Armor: Street Art Workshop transformed the DMA Sculpture Garden with masking tape:

And this year, the popular teen themed Late Night in June was developed and run by JC’s teens.

JC is a terrific listener and thoughtful which makes him an excellent supervisor to our volunteers and interns. They adore working with him. They enjoy his creative ideas as well as the support he gives them. He is genuinely interested in the people he works with and takes the time to get to know everybody. I’d like to publically thank him for his outstanding work at the DMA with our visitors.

In case you—like all the rest of us here—would like to siphon off a little of JC’s talent and take some art-making adventures of your own, check out his many DIY tutorial blog posts on how to make: sounds prints, printed t-shirts, etchings with cola, vinyl toy mini-amps, collagraphs, and cosplay armor and accessories.

In his new position, JC will oversee the Perot’s fleet of Mobile Innovation trucks so look for him on the streets–taking learning into the community!  We’re gonna miss ya, JC!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Leadership, Laughter, and Legacy

Today is Nicole Stutzman Forbes’ last day at the DMA.  Nicole began her career in 1999 as an education McDermott Intern, and in 2012, became the Chair of Learning Initiatives and Dallas Museum of Art League Director of Education.  This blog post barely begins to illustrate her hard work, passion, and humor (but I’ll give it a shot anyway).

Nicole

Nicole is smart.  During her time at the DMA, Nicole worked closely with the DMA’s collections – conducting docent trainings, leading workshops for teachers, designing educational and experiential resources for exhibitions, and leading tours for visitors of all ages (among other things).  I would argue that she knows the collection better than most people on our staff.  She is also very skilled at anticipating and attending to the little details while understanding the big concept, whether she is writing a grant proposal or developing a new project.

Late Night

Leading a Late Night tour titled Tips and Toes, inspired by nail polish!

Nicole is fun.  She knows when to be serious and when to laugh.  A regular fixture at Late Nights, she could be spied animatedly chatting with visitors or chaperoning a teen dance party in the Sculpture Garden.  She knows that good work does not necessarily mean serious work.  Case in point: one of our annual education retreats was held at Bowlounge, a vintage bowling alley.  What else is there to say?

Bowlounge

Education staff revisited Bowlounge for a farewell celebration

Nicole isn’t afraid to try new things.  She welcomes opportunities to experiment with different ways of teaching with art and working with partners.  Nicole was the first to co-teach the Booker T. Washington Learning Lab at the DMA, during which visual arts students split their learning between their school and the Museum, which essentially becomes a second classroom.  She embraced technology; first through the digitization and then expansion of our resources for teachers, and later through technology-based programs in the Center for Creative Connections Tech Lab.  Rather than shy away from change, experimentation, and the unknown, Nicole eagerly explores new territory and encourages others to do so as well.

Nicole plays well with others.  Perhaps her greatest legacy is the dozens of partnerships she has initiated and developed with schools, educators, community organizations, artists, museums, and arts and cultural organizations.  Nicole strives to develop true partnerships, in which all stakeholders participate and benefit equally, building meaningful relationships that strengthen over time.  I could write an entire blog post on these partnerships alone; suffice it to say that if you named a school, museum, or community organization in the Dallas area, she has likely worked with them in one way or another.

Skyline Project

At the opening of Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs, a collaborative installation created with Skyline High School and three DISD elementary schools

Nicole is a leader.  For me, she is also a friend and mentor who championed my ideas and pushed me to think bigger. Nicole leads by her words and by her actions.  She leads with integrity.  She leads with energy and enthusiasm.  She is highly respected among her peers, both locally and nationally.

But, don’t just take my word for it.  When asked to share her thoughts about Nicole, Bonnie Pitman, former Eugene McDermott Director at the Dallas Museum of Art, quickly responded:

Nicole has always been a trailblazer, an innovator and a great educator dedicated to communicating art in new ways.  In 2002-03, she led the DMA into a new domain – educational technology.   Created in partnership with the UT Dallas’s Arts and Technology programDIG! The Maya Project was one of the first ever museum interactive video games. There was little that was easy about it— as the process for this type of creative online learning through games had never been done before.

Nicole also actively sought to bring together the works of students and educators and artists in new ways for the public to enjoy and embrace. Poets, dancers, musicians, visual, and other artists have all actively  interpreted the collections and the romps, stomps, and interactive displays have been enjoyed by all.

This past year Nicole and I co-taught a course for medical students at UT Southwestern Medical School that focused on observing, analyzing, and engaging with works of art in order to assist the future doctors with their medical diagnostic skills.  The reviews of the class were amazing in large measure because of Nicole’s passion for teaching.
Nicole and Bonnie

Nicole and Bonnie

Maria Teresa Garcia-Pedroche, Head of Community Engagement, adds:

I had the privilege of collaborating with Nicole on several exhibitions and programs. She organized col-LAB-oration (December 2003 – January 2004), an exhibition that took the form of an “idea lab” where visitors felt as if they have walked into the artist’s thought process.  She invited students from Travis Academy to collaborate with Jesús Moroles on ideas with regards to sculpture. Nicole understands that true partnerships allow for everyone to come to the table and have an equal voice. These collaborative experiences take time to create and one size does not fit all.  It is a privilege to work with a colleague who respects communities at large.

This blog post could be much, much longer.  But I think you’re starting to get the point (or you’ve already gotten it, if you’ve been fortunate enough to work with Nicole): She is awesome.  We’re so excited for her and her new adventure as the first Director of Extracurricular Programs at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth.  But man, are we going to miss her.

Melissa Gonzales
C3 Gallery Manager

Friday Photos: Adieu to our Interns!

Somehow it’s already time for Memorial Day–where has this year gone?! And sadly, that means today we say farewell to this year’s wonderful bunch of McDermott Interns. They’ve contributed to countless Museum projects during their time with us, while managing to fit in lots of fun along the way.

The Interns on their first day at the DMA

The Interns on their first day at the DMA

In front of the Piano Building at the Kimbell in Fort Worth

In front of the Piano Building at the Kimbell in Fort Worth

Visiting the Meadows Museum at SMU

Visiting the Meadows Museum at SMU

Visiting the Crow Collection

Visiting the Crow Collection

Visiting the Nasher Sculpture Center Garden

Visiting the Nasher Sculpture Center Garden

Visiting the Dallas Contemporary

Visiting the Dallas Contemporary

In front of Nate Lowman's work at the Contemporary

In front of Nate Lowman’s work at the Contemporary

We thank them so much for their contributions and wish them well as they move on to greater horizons!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator


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