Posts Tagged 'teacher workshop'

Elephants, Buffalo, and Giraffes…Oh My!

Take a moment and imagine an African elephant at the Dallas Zoo.  Now imagine an elephant at the Dallas Museum of Art.    Were the images of the elephants the same?    It would definitely make an interesting story (with a strong potential of damaging artworks) to see a live elephant  in the Museum galleries!    Although elephants are not allowed in the Museum, images and representations of elephants and other animals by living African cultures are.

On Saturday, January 29, twelve teachers from a variety of disciplines and grade levels joined the DMA and the Dallas Zoo for a full-day teacher workshop.   Teachers spent the morning exploring animals from Africa in the DMA exhibition African Masks: The Art of Disguise and in the afternoon engaged with live animals in the Dallas Zoo’s Giants of the Savanna exhibition.

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At the Museum, teachers considered the connections between the animals represented in masks and the living cultures that created the masks in response to their beliefs and surrounding environment.  With a focus on antelope, elephants, and buffalo, Museum staff encouraged teachers to think about descriptive words that relate to each, observe the realistic and abstract qualities of the animal masks, and think about the context of each mask in relationship to the ceremonies performed by the different cultures.

The conversation continued at the Dallas Zoo as teachers discussed  the  location of the African Savanna, the animal habitats within, and the challenges facing animals in the different African countries.  Luckily, the weather outside was extraordinary (the workshop occurred the weekend before the snow and ice), and the teachers were able to ride the monorail around the Zoo, participate in elephant observation studies, and feed the giraffes.

By the end of the day, teachers commented on their experiences with looking at patterns on the African masks and on the animals and made connections to the  significance of animals within the cultures and countries in Africa.

We all had a great time and are looking forward to another collaborative teacher workshop with the Dallas Zoo soon!  This workshop is one example of what the DMA offers to teachers of all grade levels and disciplines.   Be sure to check the Teacher Programs website for new workshops later this spring.

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers

Thematic Connections with Contemporary Art: Systems and Process

We constantly encounter and use systems in our everyday lives – roadways, electricity, mathematics, language, and so much more.   Although there are multiple definitions of a system, the one that seems to be the most universal is a grouping of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent items forming a unified whole.

An artist may employ a system in his or her creative process, in subject matter, or in concept.   During the first part of the Contemporary Teacher Workshop (at the Dallas Museum of Art) on Saturday, February 19, participants will explore the theme of systems in select artworks from the 1960s through today in the exhibitions Re-Seeing the Contemporary:  Selected from the Collection and Big New Field:  Artists in the Cowboys Stadium Art Program. With a focus on language and systems within an artist’s process, educators will engage in interactive and interdisciplinary experiences that are applicable and translatable for the classroom.  On Saturday, February 26, our conversation about the artist’s process will continue at The Rachofsky House as we view the current installation Process Imperfect.

There are a few spaces available for this two-part teacher workshop.  If interested, please register online.

Here are a few artworks that may be a part of the conversation on Saturday, February 19:

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We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers

Images in slide show:
Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 29, 1970, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Inc.

Christopher Wool, Untitled, 1990, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Friends of Contemporary Art

Sol Lewitt, Wall Drawing #398, 1983 (drawn 1985), Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Collins and Mr. and Mrs. James L. Stephenson, Jr.

Carl Andre, Pyramid (Square Plan), 1959 (destroyed) 1970 (remade), Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund and matching funds from The 500, Inc.

Engaging Opportunities with Art, Artists, and Animals

As the new year begins, I encourage you to think about ways you can connect with with artists, artworks, and other K-12 colleagues  at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Here are two events that might prove to be inspirational, relaxing, or simply rejuvenating.

  • Join us for our annual Late Night Birthday Celebration as the Museum turns 108 on Friday, January 21 from 6:00 p.m. to midnight!   To celebrate the beginning of the Spring Semester, we invite you to bring your educator ID to receive FREE Museum admission.  Come with your colleagues, family, and friends to experience traditional African music, polka with Brave Combo, participate in Twitter Treasure Hunts, and engage in conversations with artists in the Center for Creative Connections.  In addition, visit the Educator Resource Table from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. to meet DMA education staff, register for door prizes, and sign up for upcoming teacher programs.     


  • Join us for an exciting teacher workshop Animals from Africa at the Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Museum of Art on Saturday, January 29!  Spend the morning at the Dallas Museum of Art, experiencing African Masks: The Art of Disguise and then journey to the Dallas Zoo for an afternoon of exploration in the Giants of the Savanna!  This special workshop includes a gallery tour, a special behind-the-scenes experience at the zoo, and lessons from experienced art and zoo educators that you can take back to your classroom.  Participants will also receive six CPE hours.  Cost is $50 for this workshop and includes admission and parking at both institutions.  To register, please complete the registration form and return to the Dallas Zoo Education Department via fax, email, or mail.

We look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events!   Don’t forget, bring your educator ID on  Thursday evenings to receive FREE admission to the Museum.

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers   

Connecting with the DMA in January 2011

With the fall semester winding down in the next few weeks, I would like to suggest a few ways you can connect with the Dallas Museum of Art in the new year.

Thursday, January 13, 2011
7:30 p.m., Horchow Auditorium
State of the Arts: Celebrating Big New Field: Artists in the Cowboys Stadium Art Program


Tuesday, January 18, 2011
7:30 p.m., Horchow Auditorium
Arts & Letters Live:  Kim Edwards

Friday, January 21, 2011
Late Night at the Dallas Museum of Art
Show your Educator ID to receive FREE Museum admission

Thursday, January 27, 2011
7:30 p.m., Horchow Auditorium
The Seventh Annual Michael L. Rosenberg Lecture: 
“Beguiling Deception”: Allegorical Portraiture in Early 18th-Century France 

Friday, January 28, 2011
7:30 p.m., Horchow Auditorium
Arts & Letters Live:    Annie Proulx

Saturday, January 29, 2011
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. 
Teacher Workshop:  Animals from Africa at the Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Museum of Art

There is always something to do and see at the DMA or within the Arts District!    We  look forward to seeing you soon, whether you are visiting with your students or visiting with friends and family.

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers

French Art Teacher Workshop

Bonjour!  I would like to invite you to travel to France through works of art at the Dallas Museum of Art on Saturday, December 4 from 9:00 to 12:30pm.    We will explore 18th–19th century French paintings and sculptures, the Reves Collection, and the special exhibition The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy.  





To register for this teacher workshop or to learn more about other workshops and programs offered in Spring 2011, go to

À bientôt….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers

Teaching with African Art

Prior to becoming the Coordinator of Museum Visits at the DMA, I served as a McDermott Curatorial Intern working with our curator of African art, Dr. Roslyn A. Walker.  During my year with Roz, I learned not only about the arts of Africa, but I also grew to love the DMA’s collection.  We have a fantastic collection of African art at the Museum, and I enjoy sharing it with our docents, teachers, and especially with students.

A few weeks ago, I led a docent training session entitled Art and Death in Africa.  A majority of African art deals with the cycle of life, so birth, initiation, and death are constantly referenced in our collection.  I felt that death was an especially interesting theme to investigate since it ties in so nicely to one of our current special exhibitions The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy.  Check out last Friday’s photo post for some of my favorite works from the collection relating to art and death in Africa.

Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria at the MFA, Houston

In September, I was invited to lead a Teacher Workshop at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston related to the exhibition Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria.  The works of art in the exhibition date from the 9th to the 15th century, and many of them have never traveled outside of Nigeria.  It was a special treat to see them, let alone to teach with them!  We spent time in the exhibition and also in the MFAH’s African galleries exploring the themes of kingship and belief.  At the end of the day, teachers created concrete poems inspired by a work of art in the Ife exhibition.  I was impressed with the teachers’ finished products, which were created on paper that they had embellished with a watercolor wash. 

A concrete poem created by one of the teachers

Later this month, I will be presenting Themes for Teaching with African Art at the Texas Art Education Association conference in Austin.  Using works of art from the DMA collection, I will share themes, questions, and experiences that can help students make connections between African art and traditions and their lives today.  If you’re attending TAEA this year and want to learn more about teaching with African art in your classroom, plan to attend my session at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, November 12th.  I hope to see you there!

Shannon Karol
Coordinator of Museum Visits

A Day in the Life: Intern Ashley

When asked to write a post about a day in life of my job here at the DMA, I wondered how I would ever choose what to include.  My days at the Museum are so varied, from docent trainings on Mondays, meetings galore on Wednesdays, to catching up on anything yet to be done on Fridays.  So, I decided to select a day that is one of my favorites and really illustrates the reasons why I love my time at the DMA: Thursdays!

My Thursday calendars primarily consist of two activities: touring and researching

Touring: From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday mornings I have the pleasure of touring K-12 students at the museum.  I typically arrive at the docent desk fifteen minutes before my tour to ensure that everything is on schedule before welcoming the children into the Museum.  Once everyone is in the door, we talk about museums, museum visits, and things to remember while on the tour.   The students are always eager to share their knowledge of museum etiquette: “stay with the group,” “use inside voices,” and “keep a safe distance between ourselves and the art.”  Next, we head into the galleries to look closely at six or so works of art.  Since we only have an hour for our tour, I attempt to be as strategic as possible, selecting objects across a wide variety of cultures, time periods, and media.  The students are amazed to realize how much they can discover just through looking and how much knowledge they already have.  It is such a joy to share in their experience!

Research: My Thursday afternoons are spent researching various objects in the collection, compiling information, and writing text, which eventually becomes online resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.  I also research special exhibitions and some of our collection for upcoming teacher workshops.  For example, I’ve been conducting research the last few weeks on The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy in preparation for our upcoming workshop on French art.  It is wonderful to have the opportunity to learn about periods in history and styles of art to which I’ve had little exposure or with which I’m less familiar. 

Teaching and research are two of my passions, and I feel so lucky to be able to dedicate a large amount of my time to pursuing both.

Ashley Bruckbauer

Programs and Resources for Teachers Intern

Friday Photos: Mesquite ISD

We are fortunate to have a long-standing partnership with Mesquite ISD students and art teachers, and we all look forward to their DMA visits each year.  Last Thursday, thirty art and social studies teachers from Mesquite ISD spent the evening at the Museum exploring the galleries and special exhibitions in preparation for their upcoming DMA Mesquite Week visits.  Teachers visited a variety of special exhibitions, including The Mourners, the new C3 installation Encountering SpaceAfrican Masks, and Mexico 200: Jose Guadalupe Posada.  After spending forty-five minutes in the galleries, teachers created a lesson plan relating to one of the exhibitions that they will use in their classrooms. The Posada exhibition sparked a lot of great ideas with the teachers, and it was exciting to hear how they plan on having students turn 2-D illustrations into 3-D works of art.

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This week we welcomed 7th and 8th grade students from each Mesquite middle school for docent-guided visits.  Students spent time in our special exhibitions, as well as in our European galleries.  Art I students focused on art historical developments during their tour, while Art II students viewed contemporary art. Over 1,200 Mesquite middle schoolers visited the DMA this week, and we’ll see each Mesquite 6th grader before the month of October is over!  

Shannon Karol
Coordinator of Museum Visits

September Programs for Teachers

I hope you had a fun and relaxing summer break!   The school year has just begun, and we are looking forward to seeing you and your students here at the Museum.  This will be an exceptional year for exhibitions as we celebrate Mexico’s bicentennial, investigate the meanings and functions of masks from several Sub-Saharan African countries, and explore French medieval sculptures from the tomb of John the Fearless.

Because we value you as educators, we are offering FREE admission with your educator ID on the following days this month:  September 4, 5, 25, and 26.   Below are additional opportunities to participate in programming designed for K-12 educators during September:


Arts of Mexico Teacher Workshop
Saturday, September 11, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Explore the arts of Mexico in the Museum’s collections and the historical significance of artworks and artists in the exhibitions José Guadalupe Posada: The Birth of Mexican Modernism and Tierra y Gente: Modern Mexican Works on Paper


Late Night at the Dallas Museum of Art
Friday, September 17, 6:00 p.m. – midnight

Show your educator ID and get in FREE.  Visit the Educator Resource table to register for door prizes and sign up for upcoming teacher programs.


African Masks: The Art of Disguise Teacher Workshop
Saturday, September 25, 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Experience the power and wonder of African Masks: The Art of Disguise. Investigate the functions and meanings of African masks and consider how they are used today. 

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Upcoming Summer Teacher Programs!

Congratulations to all teachers for the completion of another school year!   My colleagues and I would like to invite you to join us  for great learning experiences with works of art this summer.  Below are a few opportunities for you to engage with Museum education staff and educators from around the DFW area, and, of course, explore works of art from all times, places, and cultures.

Summer Seminar:  Exploring the Creative Process
Tuesday, June 15 – Friday, 18, 201
9:00 – 4:00 daily
$100 registration fee

Explore both the theory and practice of creativity in sessions led by Dr. Magdalena Grohman from The University of Texas at Dallas and DMA staff.    Sessions will include gallery experiences in the Museum’s collections and Center for Creative Connections, creative thinking workshops, and discussions about classroom applications.

Visit the website for more details and to register


Museum Forum for Teachers: Modern & Contemporary Art Monday, July 19 – Friday, July 23, 2010
10:00 – 4:00 daily  
$250 includes all instruction, materials, and lunch each day
The Museum Forum is a week-long summer program for middle school and high school teachers of all disciplines.  Participants will spend each day at one of five Dallas–Fort Worth institutions: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, Dallas Museum of Art Nasher Sculpture Center, and The Rachofsky House.

The application deadline has been extended until July 1.

Teacher Workshop with artist
Jill Foley
Wednesday, August 11, 2010  
Details coming soon at

Join DMA staff and visiting artist, Jill Foley, for an interactive workshop filled with imagination and creativity.   Foley, a Dallas-based artist, describes her work as her consciousness turned tangible.  She creates large scale imaginary-type spaces to host her puppet-like figural sculptures and her paintings and drawings.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers


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