Posts Tagged 'Learning Lab'

Try This: Drawers and Describers

It’s spring time, which means that the Learning Lab is back in session. The Dallas Museum of Art has partnered with Booker T. Washington HSVPA since 2011, providing an ‘ideas class’ for junior and senior year students. This year, students are working on an arsenal of professional writing to grow their careers as artists. By the end of the semester, students will have their first artist statements, resumes, personal essays, and curated portfolios ready to submit to colleges and opportunities beyond high school.

For people who interact with the world primarily through visual means, expressing yourself through words is easier said than done. We’ve taken advantage of the Learning Lab’s time in the Museum to get them thinking and verbalizing their thoughts about art in nontraditional ways. However, these activities aren’t just for artists—anyone can use them in the galleries! Here’s a game for you to try next time you visit the DMA.
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This gallery game is a favorite here at the Museum! All you need is paper, a pencil, a friend, and your vocabulary to get started. Before walking into a gallery, choose which person will be the drawer, and which person will be the describer. dd2
The describer will choose a work of art in the gallery to describe, while the drawer, back turned toward the artwork, illustrates their partner’s description. The describer should be as specific as possible! Think about what you’re seeing: is it a portrait or a landscape? A bed or a chair? Is the tree at the top or the bottom of the painting?
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Once the describer is finished, the drawer will turn around to compare their drawing to the real work of art. This activity often has funny results, but it also tests your powers of interpretation! As a describer, how well were you able to describe the work of art in front of you? Is there anything you missed or something you could have described in different terms?dd4

As the drawer, what kind of information would you need to more accurately represent the work of art described to you? Did you need information about expression, location, or pose? Sharing feedback with each other expands your art vocabulary and your visual literacy. For both artists and art appreciators, this is a great exercise in expanding your visual literacy! Check out some more examples below:

And don’t miss student work from Booker T. Washington and other DFW High Schools at Young Masters, open through April 16.

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen Programs

Smartphone Learning Lab

As part of our partnership with our neighbor Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, DMA educators co-teach Learning Lab, a class for seniors in the visual arts cluster. This group of bright and talented young artists walks down Flora Street to the Museum about fifty times during the academic year. Besides spending quality time with, discussing, and responding to works of art in the DMA’s collection and special exhibitions, this year the students also had the opportunity to meet artists Jim Hodges and Stephen Lapthisophon and ask them questions about their DMA exhibitions.

For their final project, pairs of students capped off a great year of projects and discussions by creating smartphone stops for a work of art of their choosing in the exhibition Never Enough: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art. They were given the option of producing a three-minute audio recording or video for their chosen work. They were asked to design their audio or video clip to either facilitate a visitor’s understanding through contextual information about the artist and his/her work, or to provide visitors with an alternative perspective or interpretation through which to view the work. They were also encouraged to exercise their creativity.

All of the pairs’ submissions were fantastic. Below are two smartphone stops created by the students:

This smartphone stop is a video inspired by Will Benedict’s 1 800 Bad Drug.

Will Benedict, 1 800 Bad Drug, 2013, gouache on board and canvas, aluminum frame with glass, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Will Benedict, 1 800 Bad Drug, 2013, gouache on board and canvas, aluminum frame with glass, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, (c) Will Benedict

This smartphone stop is an audio clip related to Sara Cwynar’s Corinthian Temple (Plastic Cups).

Sara Cwynar, Corinthian Temple (Plastic Cups), 2012, chromogenic print, mounted on Dibond, framed, Dallas Museum of Art, Susan Mead Contemporary Art Fund

Sara Cwynar, Corinthian Temple (Plastic Cups), 2012, chromogenic print, mounted on Dibond, Dallas Museum of Art, Susan Mead Contemporary Art Fund, (c) Sara Cwnar

Thanks to the BTWHSPVA Learning Lab students for a wonderful year and congratulations on graduation!

Andrea Severin Goins is the Interpretation Manager at the DMA.

Hitting the Highlight Reel: 2013-2014 School Year in Review

As our tours wind down and we make our final school trip in the Go van Gogh van, it’s time to look back at all we’ve done this school year (and be pretty proud of ourselves). If we could have looked into the future last September, we would have seen a year of change waiting for us. 2013-2014 has been action-packed, full of happy surprises and new initiatives and programs. Instead of looking at this school year by the numbers, we’re going to hit the highlight reel and showcase just a few of many great moments.

2013-14 New Docent Class

From left to right: Felix Landau, Flo Lockett-Miles, Debi Waltz, Annette Culwell, Charlie Kuzmic, Stephanie Avery, Sandi Edgar, Art Weinberg, Evan Simmons, and David Caldwell.

New Docent Class of 2013-2014

We are excited to introduce our New Docent Class of 2013-2014! In order to “graduate” from the program, our new docents attend over thirty weeks of training, give ten (or more) tours, and read almost all of Marilyn Stokstad’s Art History. These new docents have put in countless hours prepping for tours and learning different touring strategies and activity ideas. We are excited to welcome such an enthusiastic, creative, and dedicated group to our DMA Docent Program. Look for them on your DMA tours this fall!

Booker T. Washington Learning Lab Partnership

This was another fantastic year for the Learning Lab partnership with the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Students met artists Jim Hodges and Stephen Lapthisophon, learning first-hand about their respective special exhibitions and their process as artists. Students then put their own creative talent on display, re-imagining a DMA artwork using Instagram as their artistic medium. They went on behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum’s art storage areas and object conservation space, and got some career advice from a variety of Museum staff during a DMA career panel.  Most exciting of all, we will soon see the first class from the Learning Lab partnership graduate—congratulations class of 2014!

Go van Gogh Color My World Program for Special Education Classrooms

We were excited to unveil a new Go van Gogh experience this year. Designed to fill a growing need for Special Education outreach, the Color My World program incorporates multi-sensory activities in a color-filled classroom adventure inspired by paintings in the Museum’s collection. With the support of our enthusiastic Go van Gogh volunteers, we’ve been able to lead many Color My World programs this spring. And with the help of two very smart colleagues (thank you, Danielle and Hayley!), we’ve spent those sessions learning how the program works best, experimenting and modifying our way to what is now an inclusive experience for children with a range of abilities.

South Dallas Cultural Center Second Sundays

Sometimes the best learning experiences happen when the school day ends and we’re with our friends and family.  This year also brought the beginning of what we hope is a long-term partnership with families from the South Dallas Cultural Center. One Sunday a month, we have South Dallas “Second Sundays,” where a group of families spends two hours together at the Museum exploring and making art. Families have sketched and painted like Edward Hopper, designed chairs like Frank Gehry, and have spent many a Sunday using the Museum as both a resource and a source of artistic inspiration. While we haven’t wrapped up this program just yet (families, if you’re reading this, our June Sunday is not-to-miss!), this out-of-school, school year partnership is one that has defined 2013-14 for me, in a wonderful way.

To all the docents, Go van Gogh volunteers, hard-working Education colleagues (past and present), and our amazing McDermott Intern who have all helped make this school year so successful and fun-filled–thank you!  We hope you have a great summer, and we can’t wait to see you right back here in the fall!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Learning Lab: Self-Guided Tours

To cap off a fantastic school year, visual arts students at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts enrolled in our Learning Lab created self-guides for their favorite works of art at the DMA. These eleventh-grade students began many of their Learning Lab classes with a walk down Flora Street to the Museum, where they spent time looking at works of art, asking questions about them, and responding to them through group discussions, written ideas, and their own original works of art.

For their final projects, we asked students to choose four or five works of art in our collection to include in a self-guided tour, for which they decided the title and theme. They wrote a short paragraph about each artwork to explain why they chose to include it and what stood out to them. Because self-guided tours are intended to offer visitors short and interesting factoids or interpretations of a work of art, students were encouraged to be creative with their paragraphs and incorporate prompts or provocative questions that would encourage close looking and connection-making with ideas related to the work. Here are some excerpts from their fantastic finished products!

[Maternal]

“Exploring only a few examples throughout art, this guide surfaces one relationship that every individual from every culture has experienced to some degree: a mother and her child.”

 Guillermo Meza, Mother and Child, 19531959_27

“This piece depicts a mother carrying her young child with a vibrant fleshy pink cloth, pulsing all the way though her spine, much like her love and seeming will for her child. Where do you think they are going, or rather, where are they coming from? What ties you to your mother?”

 

Ms.: An Introduction to Women in Art

“This self-guide illustrates the woman in her own, natural, (sometimes stereotypical) element.”

gerhard-richter-ema-akt-auf-einer-treppe-ema-nude-on-a-staircase-1361619505_b

Gerhard Richter, Ema (Nude on a Staircase) (Ema [Akt auf einer Treppe]), 1992

“Ema (Nude on a Staircase) is a photograph of a paintng that was created in 1966. This image was purposely blurred to create nostalgic distance. What famous work of art by Marcel Duchamp could Ema have been inspired by?”

 

Texas Beauty

“When someone says “Texas,” what are the first images that pop into anyone’s head? Probably cattle, dry land, maybe some wildflower. This self-guided tour will take you “deep in the heart of Texas” and give you a true tour of this majestic land.”

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Jerry Bywaters, Share Cropper, 1937

“It is hard to drive more than 150 miles in Texas without spotting a farmer doing his work. What do you think are some stereotypes farmers have? Does this farmer display any of them?”

 

 American Landscape Paintings

“Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be so fully immersed in a painting that you actually feel like you are inside it? This self-guided tour will show you landscape paintings all by American artists. From cold icebergs to sunny beaches, the beautiful landscapes will take you on a journey all around the world.”

1976_40_FAAlfred Thompson Bricher, Time and Tide, 1873

“Can you feel the tide pull back and forth? Can you sense the sand crunching underneath your toes, the water touching your soles, making a shiver run down your back?  Close your eyes and let your senses take over. Listen to the crash of waves as they attach the rocks, feel the sun bathe your body, and soak it in.”

 
Works shown:

  • Guillermo Meza, Mother and Child, 1953, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard K. Weil
  • Gerhard Richter, Ema (Nude on a Staircase) (Ema [Akt auf einer Treppe]), 1992, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art League Fund, Roberta Coke Camp Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, and the Contemporary Art Fund: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon E. Faulconer, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Marguerite and Robert K. Hoffman, Howard E. Rachofsky, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, and two anonymous donors
  • Jerry Bywaters, Share Cropper, 1937, Dallas Museum of Art, Allied Arts Civic Prize, Eighth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition, 1937
  • Alfred Thompson Bricher, Time and Tide, c. 1873, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Mayer

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

What is Art?: Word Cloud Excercise

Today during Learning Lab, juniors at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts  explored Variations on Theme: Contemporary Art 1950s—Present. But before we dove into the artwork on the walls and our responses to it, we considered our preconceived ideas about the definitions, classifications, and limitations associated with the term art.

In small groups, the students defined art in five words. I used Wordle to create a word cloud with their definitions. (Wordle is a wonderful classroom resource for visually presenting textual content.) The larger, bolder words were words that multiple groups used to define art.

Composition, technique, perception, and concept stand out. Other words like value, design, and aesthetics relate to an artwork’s composition or visual elements. I loved that the students included words that reference an artist’s conceptual process, such as idea, foresight, thought, and motive. 

How do you define art?

Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs

Community Connection: Booker T. Washington Learning Lab

Being a part of the Dallas Arts District has its distinct advantages. One advantage is being located within walking distance of other arts institutions, making it easier to develop close and in-depth partnerships. For instance, we have just started the second year of our Learning Lab partnership with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In this partnership, DMA Education staff work with Visual Arts teachers to lead experiences and projects at the DMA and at the school (the school also partners in this way with the Dallas Theater Center and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra).

This year, Andrea and Shannon are working with Krystal Read and Leslie Eames and their junior portfolio classes.

Krystal Read

Describe this class and what you envision your students doing throughout the year.

Krystal: It’s a great opportunity since it’s taught by both a school instructor and museum educator, and students will be learning about different aspects of the art world. So, we’ll cover things like aesthetics, museum practices, and a little bit of contemporary art.  A lot of what they’ll be doing in class at school is preparing for their portfolio and getting career-ready.  I think the museum helps expose them to that type of professionalism.

Leslie: It is kind of a dual class, with two parts combined together.  One part is preparing the students for their senior year by writing resumes, making a portfolio, and all the things that come with being a senior at Booker T., such as a senior show and a portfolio day with visiting colleges.  We’re also preparing students who might want to go right into the workforce by showing them what the world has to offer them as artists.  The other half of our class is Learning Lab and working with the DMA and Shannon Karol.  Shannon visited our classroom earlier this week, and the excitement level was astounding. The students are very excited to learn about the behind-the-scenes preparation for exhibits.  Many don’t realize that you’re often not just an artist; you’re also a critic and a curator.

Leslie Eames with Gary Pierce Jr. and her son Madden

What are you most excited about or looking forward to in this partnership?

Krystal: I’m most excited about the interactive experiences and that so much of our class is taking place outside of the classroom.  I’m organizing an opportunity for them to possibly do an earth-friendly installation at Klyde Warren Park.  The students are doing something different in this class; a lot have a more classical, traditional training in art, so we’re forcing them to step outside the box.

For me, it’s also so exciting because I started off in museum education and I wanted to do more teaching.  I’m excited that those paths have finally crossed back over and somehow synced back together.

Leslie: I am excited that I get to learn as much as the students about the DMA.  I had no idea that I would be teaching this class, or that it existed.  As I met with my supervisor before school started, we went over course expectations and I just couldn’t believe what an awesome job I had and that I get to learn with the students.

What was a highlight of your summer vacation? 

Krystal: This past summer, I was overwhelmed with weddings, and I’m getting married myself. We’ve gone to so many weddings in the past few months.  We went to Houston for a wedding, and the next morning we went to The Breakfast Klub, a soul food brunch café that was amazing.  Breakfast is my favorite meal; I just love it.  As silly as it sounds, I was so excited about having good food.

Leslie: The highlight of my summer was taking a month off between my last job and this job and spending that month with my five-year-old son, which is something I’ve never been able to do.  He didn’t know what summer was; I’ve had him in Montessori up until now, so he didn’t know people had summers off.  We took a train ride to Oklahoma and a couple of different road trips, and made sure we had all the summer fun we could have.  We both learned we have summer vacation every year to look forward to.

Look for future blog posts about the fun and exciting experiences we’ll share with these students and teachers throughout the 2012-13 school year!

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community


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