Posts Tagged 'partnership'

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.”

1937_1

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

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

Here Come the Withers Wildcats!

If you were to wander through the African galleries today or tomorrow, you might encounter a studious group of 5th graders and their teachers from Harry C. Withers elementary.  Clustered around works of art, the students will be sketching and talking about what they see, think, and feel in response to the art.  When looking at the Stool supported by kneeling female figure from the Luba peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the discussion may range in topic from the geometry and patterns they see to ideas about beauty and the significant role of women in the Luba culture to the king who sat on this stool.

Math teacher Debbie Hurley will likely be leading this discussion.  With a team of teachers, Debbie and the Withers 5th grade students have visited the DMA every year for the last 15 years!   I’ve seen her teach with the Stool many times in the galleries and learned much from her passionate approach to teaching and her ability to help students make connections between the art and their lives.   In 1995, Debbie was among a group of Dallas ISD teachers and DMA education staff who collaborated to create a teacher-led curriculum called “African Traditions” for the Museum’s Art of Looking school partnership program.  The Art of Looking partnership program is 17 years old this year.  A program for 4th – 6th grade students and teachers, the Art of Looking champions interdisciplinary approaches to works of art, guides students through deep looking experiences with art that help build creative and critical thinking skills, and fosters a connection between Dallas ISD schools and their hometown Museum.

The Art of Looking partnership program, more so the “African Traditions” experience, is so embedded in the Withers school culture that it defines what it means to be a 5th grader at Withers, and what it means to be a parent of a 5th grader (who come often as chaperones on Museum visits).

This week the Withers Wildcats make their 15th annual visit to the Museum and it will be an extra special one.  Following their Friday session in the galleries looking at art, students will join African drummer Leo Hassan for a hands-on experience with African drums.   I’ll be sure to post pictures late Friday – so come back for a look!

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Learning Partnerships with Schools and the Community


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