Posts Tagged 'poems'

Leaves of Light with Writer Kendra Greene

 

Kendra Greene, the DMA's current Writer-in-Residence

Kendra Greene, the DMA’s current Writer-in-Residence

Since July 2014, the Center for Creative Connections (C3) has worked closely with printer and essayist Kendra Greene. As our Writer-in-Residence, Kendra is assisting in the evaluation and re-purposing of thousands of visitor responses received in relation to a recent C3 installation.

Images (left to right): A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on its Leaves, c. 1900, watercolor on paper, The James and Ana Melikian Collection; Visitors leaving responses at the C3's Tree of "LIGHT" interactive

Images (left to right): A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on its Leaves, c. 1900, watercolor on paper, The James and Ana Melikian Collection; Visitors leaving responses at the C3’s Tree of “LIGHT” interactive

In the spring of 2014, in connection with Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, C3 asked visitors to respond to a painting of a Tuba tree with the 99 names of God written on its leaves. Nur is the Arabic word for “light,” so we asked visitors to write a characteristic of light on a gold leaf and hang it on our tree. Over three months, we received 4,394 contributions.

Uncrated sat down with Kendra and asked her a few questions:

Tell us a little about your background with museums.
In my first job, as a preparator, I used to put text on the museum wall—one vinyl letter at a time. As a curatorial assistant, I started writing those texts. I was managing a contemporary photography collection when I discovered the best day I could have was introducing a visitor to some remarkable thing they could never have known to ask for, which may or may not have led to volunteering at a natural history museum to costume their giant ground sloth.

What interested you in working with the Dallas Museum of Art?
Museums are storytelling institutions, and yet so many of those stories go unheard. There’s never enough room on the labels to say everything worth saying, and then there’s the internal stories, the fragile oral history of what it is to live with a museum, that almost never get recorded in the first place. I wanted to capture stories that might otherwise be lost, and I wanted to give voice to surprising things well worth hearing.

Describe your process of unpacking and making sense of the information in the leaves.
The prospect of coming to grips with thousands of discrete words and phrases was overwhelming. I started alphabetizing to organize the leaves, and doing so I found not just patterns of meaning but rhythms of language. I got really interested in the effect of proportion in the responses: the power of “Love” being repeated 242 times, and the power of “Flowers & Weeds” being said just once.

Kendra’s notebook documenting the Tuba tree responses

Kendra’s notebook documenting the Tuba tree responses

What are some of your favorite poems that you generated from the leaf responses?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

How does this kind of creative re-purposing support the process of meaning making?
I’m a writer and a maker essentially because I believe in conversation. It’s exciting whenever creating something generates a response, but when that response generates more making, the whole exchange grows that much richer. It was really important to me to listen to everything this collection of visitors chose to say, and then think about what those writings had to say both individually and en masse. I see a lot of my questions and interpretations in my compositions from the leaves, but mostly I see a portrait of a community that can only happen through collaboration.

Join Kendra Greene for an evening of discovering the galleries through language, unlocking the power of art to spark poetry and prose, Thursday, February 12, from 6:00 to 8:50 p.m., and experience Kendra’s assembled poetry at the February Late Night on Friday, February 20, in the C3 Theater at 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Jessica Fuentes is the Center for Creative Connections Gallery Coordinator at the DMA.

First Day of Spring

It’s official, today is the first day of spring! Which means I get to do some of my very favorite things.
Like picnics and swimming
Brunch and tennis
Smelling the flowers
And wearing dresses
Playing outside and enjoying nature
Once again, it’s my favorite time of the year.

I guess there’s just something about the sunshine that makes me want to rhyme. In the spirit of the new season, I have paired a few beautiful springtime scenes from the DMA’s collection with poetry. I hope you enjoy!

River Bank in Springtime, Vincent van Gogh

Never Mind, March

Never mind, March, we know
When you blow
You’re not really mad
Or angry, or bad;
You’re only blowing the winter away
To get the world ready for April and May

~ Author Unknown
.

Early Spring in Central Park, Nicolai Cikovsky

I Meant To Do My Work Today

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand–
So what could I do but laugh and go?

~ Richard Le Gallienne
.

Bougival, Maurice de Vlaminick

Sunflakes

If sunlight fell like snowflakes
gleaming yellow and so bright
we could build a sunman
we could have a sunball fight.
We could watch the sunflakes
drifting in the sky
We could go sleighing
in the middle of July
through sundrifts and sunbanks
we could ride a sunmobile
and we could touch sunflakes-
I wonder how they’d feel.

~Frank Asch
.

A Host of Golden Daffodils, Charles Webster Hawthorne

Daffy Down Dilly

Daffy Down Dilly
Has come to town
In a yellow petticoat
And a green gown.

~ Mother Goose nursery rhyme
.

Jeanne: Spring, Edouard Manet

March

Dear March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked for you before.
Put down your hat-
You must have walked-
How out of breath you are!
Dear March, how are you?
And the rest?
Did you leave Nature well?
Oh, March, come right upstairs with me,
I have so much to tell.

~ Emily Dickinson

What do you love about spring?

Hannah Burney
McDermott Education Intern for Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Artworks shown:

River Bank in Springtime, Vincent van Gogh, 1887, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott in memory of Arthur Berger

Early Spring in Central Park, Nicolai Cikovsky, date unknown, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Bougival, Maurice de Vlaminick, 1905, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

A Host of Golden Daffodils, Charles Webster Hawthorne, before 1927, oil on canvas affixed to composition board, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Edna Smith Smrz in memory of Mrs. Ed C. Smith, Sr.

Jeanne: Spring, Edouard Manet, 1882, etching and aquatint, Dallas Museum of Art, Junior League Print Fund


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,484 other followers

Twitter Updates

Flickr Photo Stream