Posts Tagged 'Genesis'

Public Art in Dallas

I have always been drawn to public works of art. Not only is public art accessible to all, but it also adds color, encourages discussion and reflection, and creates a unique voice for a city.

Being new to Dallas, I have enjoyed exploring the city and discovering its public art along the way. Not only do we have several examples here in the Dallas Arts District, there will also be a plethora of new works to view beginning this weekend! It would be impossible to include every example in a single blog post, but here are a few of my favorites so far:

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Leni Schwendinger, SpectraScape, 2009

Created by Leni Schwendinger in 2009, SpectraScape is an interactive work of art located in Main Street Garden. Spectrascape is composed of bands of light that respond to human activity and movement. The artwork welcomes visitors into the park and encourages play and curiosity.

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Deep Ellum Art Park

The Deep Ellum Art Park is filled with outdoor murals and sculptures that were created by dozens of local artists, including Frank Campagna, Tyson Summers, and Dan Colcer. The vibrant works of art add life to the gray, concrete pillars that make up Highway 75.

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Marta Pan, Floating Sculpture, 1973, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Collection.

Found in the reflecting pool outside of City Hall, Floating Sculpture is composed of two bright red spheres that spin and glide along the surface of the water. Created by sculptor Marta Pan in 1973, Floating Sculpture was originally displayed in New York’s Central Park before finding its home here in Dallas.

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Shepard Fairey, 331 Singleton Blvd, 2012

In 2012, muralist Shepard Fairey was invited by the Dallas Contemporary to create several murals in the West Dallas area. I love the bold design of Fairey’s murals and admire his vision of creating works of art that convey messages of peace and harmony.

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Miguel Covarrubias, Genesis, the Gift of Life, 1954, City of Dallas, Gift of Peter and Waldo Stewart and the Stewart Company, 1992

One of my favorite works of public art in Dallas is right here at the DMA! Every time I drive past the museum’s entrance, Genesis, the Gift of Life immediately catches my eye. The mosaic mural was created by artist Miguel Covarrubias and although it was originally commissioned for the city’s Stewart Building, it moved to its current location in 1990s.

Do you have a favorite work of public art here in Dallas? Go on your own art adventure and see what new works of public art you can find!

Amy Elms
McDermott Intern for Visitor Engagement

Reading the Cards: Part 5

This is the fifth and final post in a larger series finding connections between the ever-mystical tarot cards and the extraordinary collection of the Dallas Museum of Art. Head over to the first, second, third, and fourth posts for an introduction and earlier connections.

Temperance

Temperance is the fourteenth trump card in a traditional Tarot desk.  Representing the cardinal virtue of temperance, the winged figure pours water from one chalice to another diluting the unseen wine.  This, as well as the stance of one foot on land and one in water, symbolizes balance and moderation in one’s life.

Mark Manders, Composition with Three New Piles of Sand, 2010, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Mark Manders, Composition with Three New Piles of Sand, 2010, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Leaning backwards, the one-limbed figure in this piece remains perfectly balanced with the assistance of taut ropes.  While the figure does not express general comfort, its expression is distinctly calm.  As the figure is in control of its balanced stance, it accurately represents the equilibrium of temperance.

Tower

The Tower is the sixteenth of the Major Arcana cards.  Considered an ill omen, the image shows two people falling or fleeing from a burning building.  Thought to refer to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, the Tower symbolizes looming failure, ruin and catastrophe.

Claude-Joseph Vernet, A Mountain Landscape with an Approaching Storm, 1775, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund

Claude-Joseph Vernet, A Mountain Landscape with an Approaching Storm, 1775, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund

Claude-Joseph Vernet’s monumental landscape captures the terror associated with the destructive power of natural disasters.  Amidst the ominous clouds, craggy coast, and wind-whipped trees, anxious workers struggle to find sanctuary far from the violent storm’s path.

Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is the tenth trump card.  Depicting a six- or eight-spoked wheel crested by a sphinx, the Wheel of Fortune card is inscribed with the symbols for the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  Also visible are the letters T-A-R-O with reference to the card deck or R-O-T-A, the Latin word for wheel.  The Wheel of Fortune signifies a turning point in one’s life and often represents destiny and the cycles of life.

Shiva Nataraja, 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamon Charitable Foundation, and an annonymous donor in honor of David T. Owsley, with additional funding from The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation and the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

Shiva Nataraja, 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamon Charitable Foundation, and an annonymous donor in honor of David T. Owsley, with additional funding from The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation and the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund

Deity of creation, destruction, and rebirth, the Hindu god Shiva is shown as Shiva Nataraja, the Divine Dancer.  In this form, Shiva embodies the energy of the entire cosmos and, surrounded by flames, dances the rhythm of the universe.  The precise positioning of his hands promise release from the endless wheel of rebirth.

World

The World is the final card in the major arcana.  Surrounding an untarnished nude woman, figures referenced in the Book of Revelation are depicted in each corner, including a lion, a calf, a beast with the face of a man, and an eagle.  These figures also signify the classic four elements in astrology: Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, and Scorpio.  The World represents completeness, accomplishment, and wholeness.

Miguel Covarrubias, Genesis, the Gift of Life, 1954, City of Dallas, Gift of Peter and Waldo Stewart and Stewart Company, 1992

Miguel Covarrubias, Genesis, the Gift of Life, 1954, City of Dallas, Gift of Peter and Waldo Stewart and Stewart Company, 1992

Inspired by a budding acorn, Miguel Covarrubias created the 12-foot tall and 60-foot long mural Genesis, the Gift of Life.  Saturated with creation stories, the mural explores the beauty of the earth and the life it sustains.

I have greatly enjoyed researching for and writing my Reading the Cards series.  I have learned a great deal and hope you have as well!

Pilar Wong
McDermott Intern for Community Teaching

Q&A with a DMA Docent

We have a corps of over one hundred volunteer docents who lead tours for students K-12 as well as for our adult visitors. They play an important role at the DMA, introducing our collections to museum-goers and sharing their passion for the beauty and importance of art. We are proud of their hard work and dedication and would like to introduce you to several of them over the coming months.

First up, meet Tom Matthews. Who knows, you might even run into him the next time you’re in the galleries. Rumor has it that he and his fellow docents spend a lot of their free time enjoying the art.

Number of years as a docent at the DMA: 10

A little bit about me: When I was a boy, my father piqued my interest in art by taking me to the Art Institute of Chicago. Though not trained in art, my father – an attorney – had a keen eye and did much reading on his own. His comments about art and artists stirred a life-long fascination for me. In my adult years, this interest continued. On family vacations, we usually stopped – often despite the protest of our daughters – at museums. My understanding was deepened by a twenty-five-volume series the Met in New York did for the public on art history and appreciation. While I was serving as pastor of a church in the coal fields of western Pennsylvania, a highlight of the month would be the arrival of one of these volumes. My wife alerted me to the docent program by referring me to an article in the Dallas Morning News.

My favorite experience as a docent at the DMA: I feel I have succeeded as a docent when I have “opened” a piece of art for the viewer. What does it feel like to be a griever in Jacob Lawrence’s Visitors or to “walk” as one of the figures in Giacometti’s sculpture? Assisting others in engaging with a work of art brings me satisfaction.

My three favorite works of art to share with visitors at the DMA:


Shiva Nataraja, India, 11th century: The dancing figure, holding strange objects and surrounded by a ring of fire, mystifies and entices.


Oedipus at Colonus, Jean-Antoine-Theodore Giroust, 1788: The story of Oedipus always commands attention. Giroust captures the pathos of the final moments.


Genesis, the Gift of Life, Miguel Covarrubias, 1954: Viewers are fascinated by the colors, imagery, and technique of mosaic making.

If you would like more information on the docent program at the Dallas Museum of Art, click here.


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