Posts Tagged 'Late Nights'



Youth and Beauty in the Harlem Renaissance

Regarded as one of the premier art historians on the Harlem Renaissance, Dr. Richard Powell will be joining us on Friday, May 18, for our Late Night celebration centered on the Harlem Renaissance and the Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties exhibition.

Dr. Powell, the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art & Art History at Duke University, has been writing on art and curating since 1988, when he received his Ph.D. from Yale University. He has worked with the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. We asked him a few questions about his work before he joins us on Friday.

You’ve worked extensively on African diaspora, American art, and African American art.  What drew you to the Harlem Renaissance specifically?

So much of the work during this period was trail-blazing. It was pushing against conventions to make a bold, new statement in art.

Would you comment on the work Congo (1928) by Aaron Douglas, which is featured in Youth and Beauty, and how it is evocative of the Harlem Renaissance?

It is evocative of the Harlem Renaissance because Douglas is encouraging viewers to see African dance, bodies, and art as sources of inspiration and information. My favorite part of the picture is the woman looking upward with what seems like “super sight” Eyes that radiate upward on a levitating figure. Eyes that do more than simply see; they project.

Aaron Douglas, Congo, c. 1928, gouache and pencil on paperboard, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Gift of Susie R. Powell and Franklin R. Anderson

Do you have a favorite, little known fact or story about the Harlem Renaissance?

My little known fact is that the term “Harlem Renaissance” actually comes into common currency starting in the 1940s. Artistically inclined black artists in the 1920s and 1930s referred to that moment as the “New Negro Arts Movement.”

What are you most looking forward to on your visit to Dallas?

Just seeing Dallas. It’s been a little while since I was last there. I’m really looking forward to my visit!

Dr. Powell’s lecture, Jungle Beauty: Harlem Renaissance Portraits and Their Marks, will start at 9:00 p.m. in Horchow Auditorium on Friday, May 18. We hope to see you there!

Liz Menz is the Manager of Adult Programming.

A “Wild” Late Night at the Dallas Museum of Art

We had a “wild” Late Night this past Friday, March 16, celebrating Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book and the Dallas Arts District’s Spring Block Party. Visitors transformed themselves into wild things in the Art Studio, took in a circus performance by Lone Star Circus in the Atrium, listened to author Laura Numeroff discuss her Jellybeans series, met animals from the Dallas Zoo, experienced many of Dallas’s food trucks on Harwood Street, and raced through the Museum to win the DMAzing Race. We even had our own Wild Thing roaming the Museum’s Concourse. What was your favorite “wild” event?

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Have a roaring good time as we travel back to the 1920s, complete with our own Speakeasy, during April’s Late Night on Friday, April 20.

Kimberly Daniell is the PR Specialist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Staff Profile: In the Sound Booth

Uncrated tracked down Corbett Sparks, one of the DMA’s multimedia technicians, to talk about his job at the Museum. Corbett can frequently be spotted behind the sound board during Thursday Night Live and Late Nights in the Atrium and is also the “great Oz” in the Horchow Auditorium control booth.

Describe your job in fifty words or less.
I am a multimedia technician, which means I take care of any audio/video needs that come up at the Museum. I am also in charge of editing and cataloguing all recorded audio.

What might an average day entail?
I really don’t have average days—I don’t even have a regular schedule! The only consistent part of my week is Thursday night, where I run sound for jazz (Thursday Night Live). I also take care of all the atrium performances for Late Nights on the third Friday of every month. Other days I might be setting up a laptop and projector for a meeting or running the sound and light boards for a lecture in the Horchow Auditorium.

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges?
Meeting the artists and performers that come through here and making sure their lecture/show goes off the way they want is my favorite part of this job. I am a people-pleaser and enjoy exceeding their expectations. My biggest challenge might be dealing with all the people that get me confused with the other tech, JD. We kind of look alike.

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Did you think you’d work in an art museum?
I always knew I would work in a creative field. When I was younger, I wanted to either be a fine artist or movie director. That being said, I still don’t know if I am grown up yet.

What is your favorite work in the Museum’s collections?
Bill Viola’s, The Crossing. He was an early inspiration for me as an artist. My first introduction to his work was actually at the DMA. That piece was called The Sleep of Reason:

“A black-and-white monitor on a wooden chest shows a close-up view of a person sleeping. At random intervals, the lights cut out and the room is plunged into total darkness. Large color moving images momentarily appear on three walls and a loud disturbing sound of moaning and roaring fills the space — fires burn out of control through city buildings, fierce attack dogs lunge at the camera, violent ocean waves crash into shore, a provoked owl flies into a bright light. Just as suddenly, the images vanish, the lights come back on, and the room returns to normal.

This piece opened my high school eyes to what art could be—not just paintings and sculpture, but concepts and the use of technology to get those ideas across.

Is there a past exhibition that stands out in your mind as a favorite, or is there a particular upcoming show you’re looking forward to seeing?
I really enjoyed Fast Forward. I am also definitely looking forward to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. I am intrigued by the use of the “Tony Ousler”-ish  projections on the mannequins and the general atmosphere surrounding them. Looks like fun!

Dallas Activities Get a Splash of Color with Late Nights

As you know, our Late Nights are a staple for Dallas activities in the Metroplex. For our second YouTube video, we chose to feature what makes this program so special. If you know anyone who has not experienced Late Nights, share the video with them and plan your visit!

Late Nights: Celebrating Mexico’s Bicentennial til the Midnight Hour

Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art take place on the third Friday of every month (except December) and can bring up to 5,000 visitors to the Museum in just one evening. With eleven Late Nights to plan each year, we are constantly brainstorming program ideas and themes.

The process starts with coming up with a theme for each Late Night month. These are usually decided a year in advance by looking at our upcoming exhibitions, works of art in our collection, or other special events and occasions like the Museum’s annual birthday celebration in January.

We have three Late Nights left in 2010 and each one will celebrate a different exhibition on view this fall. The next one, on September 17, focuses on our México 200 exhibitions: José Guadalupe Posada: The Birth of Mexican Modernism and Tierra y Gente: Modern Mexican Works on Paper. These two exhibits, which showcase Mexico’s long tradition of exquisite artistry, were planned as a way to commemorate the Mexican bicentennial.

Once the themes of each Late Night are chosen, the programming team decides which performers, speakers, and programs to schedule, making sure there is a mix of live music and performances, lectures, tours, films, family activities, Tech Lab programs, and other special events. Through our own research, recommendations from colleagues, and old-fashioned word-of-mouth, we choose the Late Night performers and speakers who we feel tie into the main theme of the evening while also offering something new and interesting for our visitors to experience. These special guests come from all across Texas, often from across the country, and once in a while, from abroad.

We also collaborate with other organizations in our North Texas community to present joint programs at Late Night. In September the acclaimed Mexican poet Homero Aridjis will be at the Museum to give a reading in both English and Spanish. This program is hosted in partnership with the Center for Translation Studies at UT Dallas.

We’ve just finished deciding on our themes for the 2011 Late Nights, and while we’ll keep them a secret for now, we hope to see you at one or maybe even all of them!

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services.


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