Posts Tagged 'performance'

Goodbye for Now

It has been my great pleasure to work in the education department at the Dallas Museum of Art for the past three years. My position as the Program Coordinator for the Center for Creative Connections (C3) has been such a huge opportunity to expand my K-12 art education and museum studies masters degree. I have had the great challenge to expand my knowledge in the classroom by leading the hands-on adult workshops in C3, working with local artists on the development of programs, leading programming for hundreds of people,  mentoring young artists, and working with amazing people who have helped me grow as an educator. And now, I am thankful for a new opportunity to teach K-6 art for Richardson Independent School District and will forever be grateful to the DMA for my experience.

C3 Adults

C3 Adults

To close, I would like to say goodbye by remembering some of my favorite times at the museum. There are far more experiences to remember, but thought I would count just thirty-six–one experience per month of working at the DMA.

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My top thirty-six (my three years x twelve months) memories from the DMA:

  1. Meeting many artists and working with them to create dynamic workshops in C3.
  2. Co-teaching a creativity program for adults.
  3. Becoming friends with Meaningful Moments attendees John and Sue, and receiving my very own squirrel foot necklace!
  4. Coming up with crazy Creativity Challenges for Late Night.
  5. Working with studio art students from the University of North Texas to train them how to expand their practice by teaching workshops for adults.
  6. Being the loudest one in the Center for Creative Connections office.
  7. I loved being part of the Urban Armor graffiti camp with our teen specialist JC Bigornia and guest artist IZK Davies.
  8. Teaching Terrific Textiles summer camp with 6-8 year olds
  9. Developing educational components for DMA’s Available Space project
  10. Meeting one of my favorite pop-up artists Robert Sabuda, during a Late Night Creativity Challenge.
  11. Teaching a Think Creatively class and instructing  participants to draw a work of art they hated.
  12. Reading my favorite Fancy Nancy book during summer story time.
  13. Leading a Creativity Challenge for our Meaningful Moments program.
  14. Sitting in front of Orange, Red, Red  by Mark Rothko when I need to think about something important.
  15. Seeing people drop things into a work of art by Nobuo Sekine.
  16. Going bowling for our education retreat.
  17. Having a Task Party with the C3 Adults.
  18. Doing yoga after hours in the Cindy Sherman exhibition with Melissa Gonzales!
  19. Meeting so many talented adult visitors who have helped mold me into a better educator.
  20. $1 coffee
  21. Leading Creativity Challenges for J.P. Morgan; making them create a love story between two works of art and crafting what the baby would look like!
  22. My incredible work-pal who brightened my day by leaving notes, gifts, and encouraging words on my desk weekly.
  23. Giving impromptu tours to visitors of works of art in our collection.
  24. Hosting Wayang Kulit artists in C3.
  25. Holding Life Drawing classes in the DMA galleries.
  26. Meeting Taye Diggs and helping Shane Evans lead a drawing workshop in C3 during the BooksmART festival to promote their children’s book Chocolate Me!
  27. Hosting a poetry showcase with The Spiderweb Salon of Denton, Texas. I was able to hear many musicians and writers (many of whom were C3 visitors) respond through words and songs to an exhibition at the DMA.
  28. Taking creativity breaks in the Crossroads Gallery.
  29. Working with C3 Volunteer Robert Opel to create the vision for the C3 Adult Programs promotional flyer.
  30. Receiving a phone call that Think Creatively changed one of my visitor’s lives and he will never be the same.
  31. Having an incredible boss who took many chances by letting me run with my ideas!
  32. Making new friends and being challenged by my colleagues.
  33. Having access to see the Jean Paul Gultier exhibition anytime I wanted to.
  34. Meeting many new people every day.
  35. Working with Maria Teresa and experiencing how important art is to the community.
  36. Working with Lesli Robertson and Natalie Macellaio on The Motherload installation (opening September 2014) and the launch of parent and child summer camp called Side by Side.

Thank you DMA for all the amazing memories.

Signing off for the last time as:

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

 

 

A Bright Evening Indeed

Teens, adults, hipsters, parents, and those strolling the halls of the DMA were treated to a wonderful evening of spoken word, music, and light last Thursday, when Denton-based collective  Spiderweb Salon hosted a poetry showcase with fifteen readers and musicians. The artists included participants from the Center for Creative Connection’s adult programs and Urban Armor teen programs mixed with well-known poets and musicians from the Denton area who are currently part of the Spiderweb Salon.

Inspired by the DMA’s exhibition Nur: Light in Art and Science in the Islamic WorldSpiderweb Salon called the event A Bright Evening and the musicians and writers used light as the basis of their compositions.  The showcase was hosted by poet and Spiderweb Salon co-founder Courtney Marie. Below are some highlights from the evening:

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Listen to one of the musical performances:

We were pleased to feature the following poets and musicians performing at A Bright Evening:

Bess Whitby

Evan Simmons

Chris Garver

Chris George

Ann Marie Newman

Ryan Creery

Monique Johnson

Nate Logan

Ennis Howard

Conor Wallace

Frank Polgar

Erica GDLR

Jordan Batson

Kiki Ishihara

Carson Bolding

Make sure to follow Spiderweb Salon on Facebook and stay connected to what is happening in the Center for Creative Connections!

Amanda Batson
Program Coordinator for the Center for Creative Connections

 

Friday Photos: Emotional Performances

Last month, Shannon Karol and I led a group of K-12 teachers through the Cindy Sherman exhibition.  The goal of this teacher workshop was to encourage educators to explore the artistry of both Cindy Sherman and photography by examining works of art spanning Sherman’s forty year career. We investigated themes of identity and performance as we considered Sherman’s role as photographer, model, art director, make-up artist, and stylist.

We concluded the workshop with a performance-based activity that shed light on Sherman’s artistic process.  Each teacher was given an emotion card and–without revealing their specific emotion–was asked to direct a partner to convey this emotion through facial expressions, body language and costumes. Everyone had a great time dressing up and playing director–take a look at the entertaining results!

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Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Texas Late Night

Howdy, y’all! This past Friday, the DMA showed folks a rootin’ tootin’ good time at our Late Night celebration of the Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas exhibition. With a theme as big as Texas, you can bet that there was lots to do here at the Museum. With live folk bands playing in the Atrium Cafe and in the galleries, visitors could hear old-time, toe-tapping, traditional Texas music almost anywhere they went. Adult crowds could be seen gathering for tours of the exhibition and  surrounding the watercolor demonstrations led by artist Scott Winterrowd. Lectures, talks, and films throughout the night also kept the adults scurrying from one program to the next. Families had a rip-roaring time in the Center for Creative Connections studio constructing their own Dallas building to contribute to a three-dimensional city skyline. Also in C3, kids created Texas-inspired bandanas and participated in Yoga for Kids. To get a peek at all the festivities, check out the slide show below.
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One of my favorite moments from the night was bumping into a family I had taught during a Go van Gogh Summer Library Program. When I stumbled upon them, they were in C3 doing yoga and discussing what kind of building they would create in the studio. They excitedly told me all about going into the Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas exhibition to see all of the works of art we had talked about during the Impressions of Dallas library program. “They know everything!” the kid’s impressed dad exclaimed. It is always a joy to see familiar faces in the Museum. To learn a little more about the Go van Gogh Library Program, check out Amy’s blog post from last week. Every participant receives a free family pass, which you could use at the next Late Night on August 17.

What was your favorite moment from the Late Night?

Hannah Burney
Go van Gogh Programs Assistant

Late Night Diva-Off

Last Friday, the Museum packed in a very full house for the Late Night celebration of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. The night’s special event, Divas of Gaultier Costume Contest, was kicked off with a fabulous Madonna tribute performance by Chris America, who got the festive audience singing and dancing. The competition featured eleven Madonna contestants and twenty Lady Gagas who put together creative and outrageous Diva ensembles. But they weren’t the only ones! Many of the visitors also took the opportunity to wear fashion from the wilder side of their wardrobe. After each contestant modeled his or her outfit, the finalists were revealed. The victors included Lady Gaga holding a teacup, as well  as a real-life mother-daughter pair stylishly dressed as Madonna and her daughter Lourdes. To wrap up the event, Chris America reappeared to award the grand prize of a hundred dollar gift certificate for the Museum store and a Jean Paul Gaultier catalogue to the winner, Lady Gaga. With her slow and deliberate strut, and edgy animalistic poses, this fierce contestant truly embodied Lady Gaga herself.

Photos from this fun and fashion-filled Friday are below, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

If you were to dress up for a Diva contest, who would you want to be and what would you wear? Please share your response in the comments below.

Hannah Burney
McDermott Intern for Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Music Connections to the DMA Collection

The DMA’s collection offers a number of opportunities for cross-disciplinary study. Shannon has written blogs that focus on the literary connections to Abstract Expressionist works of art and other areas of the DMA’s collection. In this post, I thought I could share a few of my favorite music-related objects.

Below is a collage by Romare Bearden called Soul Three. In addition to being an accomplished artist, Romare Bearden also occasionally composed jazz music and associated with musicians such as Branford Marsalis, Duke Ellington, and Fats Waller. This musical influence appears frequently in his collages in the form of musical themes and subjects. Soul Three, for instance, shows three musicians playing guitar and tambourine.

Romare Bearden used music in many ways when he created art. Sometimes he drew while listening to music. He described this experience by saying, “[o]ne of the things I did was to listen to a lot of music. I’d take a sheet of paper and just make lines while I listened to records—a kind of shorthand to pick up the rhythm and the intervals.” Bearden also advised that, in making art, you “become a blues singer—only you sing on the canvas. You improvise—you find the rhythm and catch it good, and structure as you go along—then the song is you.”

Romare Bearden, Soul Three, 1968, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund and Roberta Coke Camp Fund

Shiva, the Hindu god of creation and destruction, is shown in the bronze sculpture below in his most transcendent state as Nataraja, or Lord of the Dance. Here, Shiva is the embodiment of cosmic energy who dances the rhythm of the universe and beats his drum in time. Music and dance, in the Hindu tradition, are considered pathways to divinity, and worshippers perform to honor the god.

Shiva Nataraja, 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Eugene McDermott, the Hamon Charitable Foundation, and an anonymous 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

 

Next, this black serpentine bust of Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter shows the musician as he appeared a few years before his death. Leadbelly was a troubled folk singer and two-time murderer who was reputedly pardoned for his crimes when the governor of Texas heard his music. In this bust, he is portrayed sensitively by the sculptor Michael G. Owen, Jr.

Michael G. Owen Jr., Leadbelly, 1943, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Gooch Fund Purchase Prize, Twelfth Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1951

 

Finally, for the Senufo peoples of Côte d’Ivoire, the drum is an instrument of music and communication. Drums are used by Senufo women to accompany songs sung in a secret language to deal with gender conflicts and other frustrations, and serve as a sort of “public address system” for the Senufo community announcing important events or rituals. They are also pounded to create a rhythm which encourages competition among young men hoeing the fields.

Drum, 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus

 

These are only a few of the many works at the DMA which celebrate music. List your favorites in the comments below.

 

Tom Jungerberg

IMLS Grant Coordinator

Friday Photos: Happy Birthday DMA!

This month the Museum celebrated its 108th birthday!  The January Late Night is our official birthday party.  Here’s a look at how we celebrated last Friday during the Late Night.  We are THRIVING at age 108!

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Full artwork image:
Jean Dubuffet, The Reveler (Le Festoyer), 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark

Community Connection: Our Friends and Neighbors

Dear loyal blog readers,

We have a new summer blog post schedule.  Look for new posts on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Have a fabulous summer!

The opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center last fall brought our friends at the Dallas Theater Center (DTC) to the ever-growing Dallas Arts District.  Having comfortably settled into their new home at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, the DTC has developed programs and collaborations as innovative as the building itself.  Lisa Holland, Director of Education and Community Programs at the DTC, gives us a peek behind the scenes.

Tell us about your new home at the Wyly Theatre.
The Wyly Theatre is remarkable – there’s not another theater like it in the entire world.  The flexibility that it affords is unparalleled and I think that we, as the primary tenants, are going to learn about this building as time goes on.  I think the possibilities are going to be limitless in this building.  I also think our patrons are going to be the lucky beneficiaries of seeing what this building can do.  It’s like a giant transformer.  What that provides to the patron in terms of the audience to artist relationship is going to be powerful and immediate. There’s nothing like it.  

Also, the synergy between other organizations in the Arts District and the potential collaborations that exist now is so thrilling.  I think about how we can collaborate with our friends and family at the Arts District in ways that will be really engaging and exciting.  To walk down the street and see who you’ll run into, or walk down the street and have a meeting at the DMA – it’s exciting. 

Do you ever consider integrating or thinking about works of art related to your programs?
Absolutely.  In the past, we’ve incorporated a visual arts component in our SummerStage program.  I believe that whatever kind of artist you are, you need to “feed your hopper”.  In other words, you pour into yourself different experiences, whether it’s a trip to the zoo or going for a walk and looking at leaves.  You never know what will inform your work as an artist.  

Also, we deal with a lot of visual arts formal elements like color, line, and composition in the theater.  And, we have had collaborative events with the DMA in the past, such as sending artists to the DMA and working with Arts & Letters Live.

Tell us about the Shannon and Ted Skokos Learning Lab, your new partnership with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
It was brand new this year, and it was a resounding mutual success. Last spring, we auditioned the rising juniors and from that group chose eighteen seniors.  The Learning Lab has three components.  Kevin Moriarty (DTC Artistic Director), Charlton Gavitt (Booker T. Washington High School Theater Cluster Faculty), and I team-taught the class component, which occurred every other day, all year long.  The second component is a twenty-hour internship that students complete outside of class hours.  The final component is a performance project, in which we paired the students with our professional acting company, and they performed ten scenes in the Wyly Theatre with the professional actors.  The students also came to every single show we produced this year, free of charge.  This is a super exciting program, and I don’t think anywhere else has that sort of integrated relationship between a school and a professional theater with that kind of access.  The program is a great example of the kind of collaboration that can happen in the Arts District – it was so simple to walk across the street, teach, and walk back to my office.

How did you come to your position as Director of Education & Community Programs?
I grew up in the theater.  My parents took me to theater and I’ve been a theater student my whole life.  After I earned my graduate degree in directing, I was hired as one of two artistic directing interns at the Dallas Theater Center thirteen years ago.  I was hired to work in the artistic office after my internship year, and I basically never left.  I defected into the education department about halfway through my tenure, but that made sense because my undergraduate degree is in theater education.

What program/performance are you most looking forward to this summer?
We have a program called SUPERStage (SummerStage’s alter ego), where we have theater day camps for kids ages 4-14. I’m also looking forward to our summer production It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s SupermanI’m so excited about having a mainstage show running concurrently with our SUPERtage program.  Our SUPERStage students will have access to what we do in a primary way, and we’re going to enfold into the curriculum what is happening on stage so it becomes a learning lab of sorts.  It’s going to be awesome.  Superman – what can you say – there’s flying  –  it’s Superman!

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Community Connection: Art in Motion

Last week, I had the chance to speak with Nancy Schaeffer, Education Director at the Dallas Children’s Theater.  She generously set aside time for our interview; as you will see, this is one busy lady.

Tell us about your work at the Dallas Children’s Theater.

Nancy Schaeffer, Education Director at the Dallas Children's Theater

My primary responsibility is overseeing our academy.  We serve children ages 3 ½ to 18 with acting classes and our teen conservatory. During the school year, as many as 300 children come to single programs during a week, and close to 1,000 children attend programs per week during the summer.  We also have mini-sessions where students have multiple experiences over four weeks.  It is my job to hire teachers, oversee curriculum and performances, and talk to parents.  I also oversee a residency program in schools during the school day.   In the summer we have musical theater, video classes, improv classes for teens, and storytelling for the little ones. All of our programs end with a production of some sort.

I also read scripts and sit on a committee that puts together the season for the year.  I sit on various committees for outreach, and we work closely with the nearby Vickery Meadow neighborhood.

How did you come to be Education Director at the Dallas Children’s Theater?

I have been with the Theater since its first day.  My husband was the first official full-time employee.  I started as an actress in the first production: Babes in Toyland.  I’m now in my 26th season with the DCT.    There was no education staff in the beginning; I eventually moved into this position over time and created my job.

What is your most memorable moment from your time with the DCT?

Moving into this building seven years ago, on Valentine’s Day.  When we moved in, it was really hard, but it was really exciting. It was hard because the building was not completed when we moved in.  We received a certificate of occupancy at 4:30 in the afternoon and had a show at 7:30 that night.  We also had a site visit that weekend from the National Endowment for the Arts.  And we were doing a show at El Centro that weekend.  We had no heat in most of the building, and all of our stuff from the old building was packed onto a truck that was not unloaded for two weeks.  The whole process was really something to be a part of.

Which production are you most looking forward to, and why?

I direct main stage shows – usually three a year – which is not a part of my responsibilities as Education Director.  It’s a lot of work and a lot of extra time, but I love whatever project I get involved in.  I’m currently directing How I Became a Pirate.  It has huge scenery components, and those are always exciting for the audience but are very challenging for the director.  We do nine shows a week with professional actors, and so far everything has worked out.

One of the shows I’m directing next season is titled Don’t You Love Me?  It is for teens and is about dating violence.  We’ve done this production once before, and we don’t back off when we do a play like this for teens.  We lead discussions afterwards, and I saw the impact this show had on the audience.  I realized how prevalent this problem is and how important it is to do this work. It does take a chunk out of you, but I did enjoy it.

In the past, you’ve led trainings for our docents based on your expertise in movement and performance.  How do you connect your work with looking at works of art?

Theater as an art form uses more than one type of art, with scenery, dance, music, sound, and the visual. The visual is critical in a play. While I’m looking deeply at works of art in the museum, I absorb these wonderful images and feelings and emotions which can’t help but inform my work.  Working with docents, who are so smart and engaged and want to expand, made me want to find ways to connect more visually in my art and my way of working with children. I love doing it, and I feel like I’ve gotten so much out of the trainings.

We are so busy; taking a minute to stop and look, then think and connect and realize what kind of emotions you’re feeling is good for your soul. I have also made such a nice connection over the years with Gail Davitt, the Director of Education at the Dallas Museum of Art, through certain projects and meetings that we both attend.  I’m so glad the Museum is in our community for children to visit and explore and know it’s for them.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Learning Partnerships with the Community

Art for Two

It’s a perfect day for thinking in twos; we’re getting close to that couple-y time of year, and it’s also the 2nd day of February (2/2)!

The DMA collection is full of couples in works of art—some of them are real-life pairs, some are fictional twosomes.  Below are just a few of the many couples here at the Museum.  All of them (or works by them) are currently on view.

Wendy & Emery Reves: A Couple Art-lovers
She was a fashion model. He was a Hungarian journalist and writer.  Together Wendy and Emery Reves befriended celebrities (Winston Churchill and Greta Garbo) and amassed a breath-taking collection of decorative and fine art by artists like Degas, Monet, and van Gogh.  The Reves gave their entire 1,400 piece collection to the Museum in 1985, where it is housed in a beautiful replica of their French villa on the 3rd floor of the Museum.

Shiva & Parvati: A Divine Couple
Hindu god Shiva, and his wife, the goddess Parvati, are shown in this 7th-8th century atwork as a loving couple.  Shiva is the Lord of Life, Death and Rebirth, and in this sculpture he appears as Maheshvara, or great god. Parvati appears as Uma, or the shining one.

India, Stele of Uma-Maheshvara, 7th-8th century

Frances Bagley & Tom Orr: A Couple of Local Artists
Dallas artists and real-life couple Frances Bagley and Tom Orr collaborated to create the stage set for the 2006 Dallas Opera’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s, Nabucco.  They translated several components of the production’s set to create an installation that is on view in the exhibition Performance/Art, through March 21st.  Nabucco tells the Biblical story of the Jews’ exile from their homeland by Nabucco, the Babylonian king.  The image below shows Bagley and Orr’s interpretation of the Hanging Garden, the final scene of the opera.


Scene from the Tales of Ise: An Ill-fated Couple
The couple in these 16th century screens is based on characters from a Japanese collection of fables called “Tales of Ise.”  This scene shows the pair attempting to elope by escaping through a field of grass, as they are pursued by servants of a provincial governor.  The empty, lonely scene foreshadows the tragic fate of the young couple, who will soon be discovered in hiding after the servants set fire to the field.
Tosa Mitsuyoshi, Scene from the ales of Ise, Momoyama Period

Couplet
This last one isn’t an artwork in our collection, but it just might be my favorite on the list.  It’s a student-made video about two chairs visiting the Museum, and it reminds me of the fun of looking at art with someone else.  Hats off to the Booker T. Washington High School Film Club students who created it during a Saturday afternoon here this past October.

Our next Late Night on Friday, February 19th is a perfect time to visit the Museum with a special someone; there will be French themed performances, and a focus on Impressionism and romance.

Happy February!
Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Learning Partnerships with Schools and the Community


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