Posts Tagged 'poetry'

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

 

Summer Reading Fun at the DMA

If you have or know any school-aged children, you know that the countdown to the end of school has begun! Dreams of afternoons at the pool, summer vacations to see grandparents, and lots of watermelon and ice cream are dancing through children’s heads. For me, one of the best parts of summer was the summer reading club at the library. I loved to read anyway, but getting rewards for reading? What a brilliant idea! (I just wish there was a summer reading club for grown-ups.) If reading by the pool isn’t your thing, why not bring a book to the DMA? Families are always welcome to read together in the galleries—on a bench or even on the floor.

To give you a jump start on your summer reading list, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite books along with suggestions for the perfect reading spot in the museum.

Clad in her swimsuit, cap and flippers, little Flora seems to be bursting with the need to move. Her muse? A pink flamingo who does not appreciate the little girl’s adoration! The two dance across the pages in this wordless book in a graceful ballet that reminds us that imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery and perhaps a way to begin unlikely friendships. Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle is the perfect book for your little dancer, and would be a great choice to tote along to the DMA when the Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cezanne exhibition opens at the end of June. Several of the museum’s pieces by Degas will be on display, including these lovely dancers.

The push and pull of waves on the beach is irresistible at any age. In Wave by Suzy Lee, a little girl timidly approaches the edge of the water, then slowly gets wetter and wetter as she becomes more sure of herself. The wave takes on its own personality as it interacts with its little companion, and in a splash of watercolor resembling a Pollock painting, the two become the best of friends. Several views of the ocean are on display in the American galleries on Level 4. Perhaps the waves in Alfred Thompson Bricher’s Time and Tide can become your friends too!

Have you ever wondered where imaginary friends live before they join your family? In Dan Santat’s charming book The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, we discover the answer to this mystery. A little marshmallow-like creature patiently waits on an island far away for a child to imagine him into the world. But when no one chooses him, he bravely ventures forth on an adventure to find his person himself. Across the vast ocean, through crowded city streets, and finally perched high in a tree’s branches, our hero discovers a perfect friend waiting for him and learns that she has been thinking of him all along. Santat turns the idea of an imaginary friend on its head, and his color-saturated illustrations will make you wish you could have Beekle as your own unimaginary friend. Bring Beekle along for a visit to the Reves collection on Level 3 and search for Maurice de Vlaminck’s Bougival. The vibrant colors of this painting remind me of Beekle’s birthplace, and I can imagine him and his new friend tramping through these woods!

Beep, beep! Look out—fun is on the way! If your child loves everything that goes, Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems by J. Patrick Lewis & Douglas Florian should be tops on your list. Douglas Florian has written some of my favorite poetry collections for children, and for this high speed volume, he’s teamed up with U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis. As soon as you open up to the first page, you know you are in for a wild ride. The table of contents looks like a bunch of blueprints, and the list of vehicles is sure to get some giggles. From “The Dragonwagon” to the “Eel-ectric Car,” these crazy car poems will ride their way right into your imagination. The rhythm and flow of the language is just right for kids, and Jeremy Holmes’ illustrations are so involved, you’ll get lost in the pictures. Tow this book straight to the Hoffman galleries later this month and find John Chamberlain’s Dancing Duke. Chamberlain uses car parts and materials found in junkyards to create his fantastical sculptures.

If you can’t get enough of stories in the galleries, join us for story time this summer! Each Tuesday in June and July at 1:00 p.m. Education staff will lead story time, DMA-style. We’ll read stories, look at art in the galleries, and do hands-on activities. Story time is free and open to all ages.

Artworks shown:

  • Edgar Degas, Ballet Dancers on the Stage, 1883, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin B. Bartholow
  • Alfred Thompson Bricher, Time and Tide, c. 1873, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Mayer
  • Maurice de Vlaminck, Bougival, c. 1905, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
  • John Chamberlain, Dancing Duke, 1974, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Harold J. Joseph in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Max Walen

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning

I Could Have Danced All Night!

Artists take cues from the surrounding world when creating their own works of art.  Inspiration can come from any number of subjects including fashion, popular culture, and poetry.  The DMA is currently playing host to an exhibition titled, Chagall: Beyond Color, which features the artist’s paintings alongside his works in sculpture, ceramics, and collage. The DMA is the only US venue for this exhibition, so you definitely don’t want to miss it!

Marc Chagall never aligned himself with any single movement, but combined elements from various styles including Cubism, Fauvism, Symbolism, and Surrealism.  He also drew inspiration from his Jewish background, Russian upbringing, and many international travels.  While Chagall is most famous for his paintings, he also experimented with other media and venues.  For example, he designed and produced costumes and scenery for the production of the ballet Aleko, choreographed by Léonide Massine and set to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor.

Marc Chagall, A Wheatfield on a Summer's Afternoon, Study for backdrop for Scene III of the ballet Aleko, 1942, Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest

Marc Chagall, A Wheatfield on a Summer’s Afternoon, Study for backdrop for Scene III of the ballet Aleko, 1942, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest

Three years after the immense success of Aleko, Chagall worked on the stage curtain, sets, and costumes for Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird.  The ballet, based on a Russian folktale, was restaged by the American Ballet Theater with choreography by Adolphe Bolm.

Marc Chagall, Model for the curtain in the first act of "The Firebird" by Stravinsky: The Enchanted Forest (Maquette pour le rideau de scène du 1er acte de "L'Oiseau de feau" de Stravisky: La forêt enchantée), 1945, Private collection, Paris

Marc Chagall, Model for the curtain in the first act of “The Firebird” by Stravinsky: The Enchanted Forest (Maquette pour le rideau de scène du 1er acte de “L’Oiseau de feau” de Stravisky: La forêt enchantée), 1945, Private collection

Marc Chagall is not the only artist to have been inspired by the passionate art form of dance.  As a strong cultural element, dance can be found represented in a variety styles throughout history and across geography.  Below are some examples of works in the DMA collection that also draw inspiration from various forms of dance.

Pilar Wong
McDermott Intern for Community Teaching

Thanksgivingtime

I always look forward to Thanksgiving, as it kicks off my favorite time of year. I also love spending the day watching parades and eating delicious food with my family and friends, while acknowledging the people and things for which I am grateful. (I am thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving!) What I really look forward to each year, however, is indulging in one specific dish…

This poem is titled after my favorite Thanksgiving food. Can you guess the title (and my favorite dish)?

The potato that ate all its carrots,

can see in the dark like a mole,

its eyes the scars

from centuries of shovels, tines.

May spelled backwards

because it hates the light,

pawing its way, padding along,

there in the catacombs.

The poem is titled Yam by Bruce Guernsey.

I found this poem and many others through a great poetry resource: The Poetry Foundation website. A  sorting feature helps users browse through poems by poet, subject, occasion, or even holiday!

Poetry can be a great vehicle to connect with artworks. Take the following stanza from John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem, The Pumpkin. Think of a work of art that resonates with the poem. Why did you make that association?

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Here are some works of art that I associated with Whittier’s stanza.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

Artworks shown:

  • Matthew Barney, The Cloud Club, 2002, Mason and Hamlin Symetrigrand piano with stainless steel, silver, white mother-of-pearl, gold lip mother-of-pearl, black lip mother-of-pearl, green abalone, quartersawn Honduras mahogany, lacewood, walnut, ash burl, redwood burl, madrone burl, and Chilean laurel marquetry; internally lubricated plastic; potatoes; concrete, and sterling silver, Dallas Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Fund: Gift of Arlene and John Dayton, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon E. Faulconer, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Marguerite and Robert K. Hoffman, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, and three anonymous donors; DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund; and Roberta Coke Camp Fund
  • Stephen De Hospodar, Family Portrait, 1932, Linoleum cut, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the artist
  • Russel Vernon Hunter, Sunday after Dinner, 1943, Oil on masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
  • Doris Lee, Thanksgiving, 1942, Lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg
  • William S. Warren (designer), “Vogue” pie server, 1935, Wallace Silversmiths (manufacturer), Dallas Museum of Art, The Jewel Stern American Silver Collection, gift of Jewel Stern

Community Connection: Ekphrastic Poetry

In honor of National Poetry Month, April’s Community Connection is Kolby Kerr.  Kolby is an English teacher at New Tech High at Coppell who incorporates a DMA visit into his creative writing curriculum.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I teach AP English IV, regular English IV, and creative writing at New Tech High. It’s a unique school and school environment.  This is my fourth year teaching, and I teach all seniors.  I graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in English and got a Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry from Seattle Pacific University.  I am interested in literature and creative writing and the intersection aesthetics and academics.

What drew you to New Tech High?

We are a public choice high school; students come here based on a lottery or a first-come, first-serve sign-up within Coppell ISD. We have a one-to-one technology pairing, so students have access to their own laptops and to the internet at all times.  Our curriculum is project-based; everything has to be invested in real-world, directly applicable projects.  Hopefully, that will increase students’ investment in their own intellectual curiosity.  They tell us what they need to know to complete their projects.  I have, more or less, autonomy to create my instruction around concepts and ways of life I’ve found helpful in engaging the world with the mind.

Tell us about your relationship with the DMA.

In my undergraduate degree program, a creative writing professor took us to The Art Institute.  He set us loose, told us to engage and interact with single work of art, and write an ekphrastic poem based on it.  I found the activity liberating and interesting; I don’t know much about art, but I really felt like I had an engagement with the artwork on a deeper level than I had experienced before.

When I knew I would teach creative writing, that was the first project I wanted to do.  I grew up going to the DMA with my grandmother, who was a big art-lover and always took us down there.  I came last year and this year with my students.  We started with an hour-long guided tour of highlights in the DMA collection, then I set them free.

How do you set up the assignment at the DMA?

It is fairly open-ended.  After the highlights tour, I suggest that students take an hour to narrow down four to five different works, take notes, snap a photo and journal.  Then, they spend a full hour with one piece, which forces their attention in one direction.  With constant distraction and consumer overload, writing forces you to produce something from yourself.  You can get at ekphrastic poetry from two angles – either read into the moment of the painting, which provides narrative or a character you see in painting, or take something from the painting and let it project into your own life and become a more lyrical expression.  Some poems are almost all image-driven, while some are story poems.  Either type of poem drives you back to the art and makes you want to see the art and compare the experience of the poem to the experience of the piece.

This partnership gives a sense of relevancy and authority to a field – creative writing – that sometimes feels too abstract.  Creative writing exists way off the beaten path and this assignment gives a kind of legitimacy to a culture that creative writing is not only hoping to sustain but helping to thrive and flourish into the 21st century.

How do you combine poetry and art in your assignments?

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

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

BooksmART: John Grandits @ the DMA

John Grandits is a very funny man, and he’s coming to the DMA!  If you’ve found that sonnets, ballads, and Roman epics are too heavy for you, Mr. Grandits is here to make poetry downright concrete.  If that sounds intimidating, it’s not—poetry can be a lot of fun.  Grandits is a concrete poet, and he’s the author of two immensely enjoyable (and highly acclaimed) books for kids: Technically, It’s Not My Fault and Blue Lipstick.  If you’re tired of Times New Roman and typing left to right, this is your kind of poetry.  Grandits’ poems move in squiggly lines, travel up and down, and create pictures on the page.  He uses fonts, shapes, textures, colors, and sometimes even motion. 
 
If you would like to get a sense of his work, visit his Web site.  It’s full of quirky photos, playful type, and a great poem about a beleaguered snake.  If you’d like to do a little research, check out his books at the Dallas Public Library.  John Grandits will be at the Museum March 18-20, a fantastic opportunity to learn about his work.  Visit the Web site to learn about all the events Arts & Letters Live has planned for John Grandits’ visit to the DMA.
Justin Greenlee
McDermott Intern, Learning Partnerships Department

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