Posts Tagged 'South Dallas Cultural Center'



Friday Photos: Tatum Elementary and Mark Bradford

This past Wednesday, I visited fourth- and fifth-grade students in Tatum Elementary’s Afterschool Program.  We spent time thinking about our neighborhoods and making collages using assorted papers, twine, and glue.  We finished by looking at works of art by Mark Bradford and talking about the large-scale paintings that he created using similar materials, which often relate to his neighborhood in Los Angeles.

But, the program did not end there.  Last night, Tatum Elementary Afterschool students of all ages came to the Museum with their parents to see the Mark Bradford exhibition.  They also spent time adding to the collages they began the previous day, or making new collages.  Children and parents created their own work, or in many instances, collaborated on collages.  Check out their great work below:

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Teens and Technology

Every summer, we partner with the South Dallas Cultural Center during their five-week Summer Arts at the Center.  The students, ages six to fourteen, learn about African history through a broad array of classes such as creative writing, digital photography, printmaking, sculpture, mural-painting, and dance.  Programs with the DMA have included artmaking workshops and tours of the Museum’s African galleries and special exhibitions.  Last summer, the teens created an interactive presentation on the summer’s topic, the Middle Passage.  This summer, a different group of teens is developing a new interactive presentation on their topic, African gateway communities in the Americas, with an emphasis on Haiti.

The teens meet twice a week with DMA staff for two hours, both at the Center and at the DMA.  Their presentation is shaped by what they have learned in their classes, and they determine as a group the content and layout.  With one week left in the program, they have gathered all of their research, selected artworks from the DMA’s collection, and chosen the layout.  Next week will be spent building their presentation.  Check our Web site next month to view their completed project!

Dominique and Sasha research Haitian traditions.

Takaziah reads about the Haitian Revolution. Her partner, Renicia, is traveling this week.

Eric writes Fun Facts about Haiti while Craig searches for images to include in the presentation.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Community Connection: Connecticut to Dallas to Houston and back.

This month’s Community Connection is Vicki Meek, Manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center. I would be hard-pressed to find someone else in Dallas who embodies the words “community” and “connection” more than Vicki. Not only is she a prominent member of the Dallas arts community, but of the Houston arts community as well. Read below to find out more!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve been involved in the Dallas arts community since 1980. I first actually came here as an artist, coming from being a Senior Program Administrator at the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. I came here to get married and decided I was just going to be an artist. That lasted about 2 years.  Then, I had a baby boy and had to get a “real” job again. In summary, from 1977 to the present I’ve had arts administration experience on a state agency level as an Arts and Education Coordinator and then as a Senior Program Administrator.  I followed that with multiple positions developing programs for local arts agencies. I am now the Manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, and have been with the Center since 1980. 

Tell us about your work at Project Row Houses in Houston.

Round 31 Life Path 5: Action/Restlessness was designed to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Project Row Houses by taking it back to its original intent: using visual art as an agent for social change and community engagement in that community. I was the curator of Round 31; I selected the artists involved with the project and also did a house myself. My house is the Imani/Nia House. The house is designed to get people to think about how their spiritual selves motivate their activism. I worked on the installation for two weeks, and just returned to Dallas this past Sunday. 

What advice would you give to young artists?

Be vigilant in your pursuit of excellence. It’s a very hard field to be in, and if you’re not absolutely passionate about what you’re doing, you will not survive it. 

Finish this sentence: In 10 years, I’d like to be…

Happily married in Senegal. I’m actually doing this in three years.

The Dallas Museum of Art partners annually with the South Dallas Cultural Center during their Summer Arts at the Center program. In 2009, DMA staff worked with the teens at the Center to create a presentation on their summer topic, the Middle Passage.  The group met twice a week throughout the five-week program, and worked collaboratively on the research, writing, and design of the presentation.  In addition, they selected works of art from the DMA’s African collection to help illustrate their topic.  Much of their time was spent in the DMA’s Tech Lab, where the teens wrote and built their presentation. 

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Learning Partnerships with the Community


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