Posts Tagged 'teachers'



Friday Photos: Educator Block Party 2014

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My colleague and office pal Amy Copeland and I had the pleasure of spending Thursday evening at the Meyerson Symphony Center for this year’s Educator Block Party. Over twenty cultural institutions participated at this event, including the Sixth Floor Museum, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the Dallas Holocaust Museum, to name only a few! It was wonderful getting a chance to chat with teachers, administrators, and homeschool instructors from around the Metroplex over the course of a relaxing evening. If you missed it this year, we hope to see you at the gathering next time around!

Josh Rose
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Friday Photo: Arturo’s Preschool

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Imagine a school where you could explore a pond during science class, visit the symphony for music class, and look closely at a painting by Monet in art class! Real-world lessons are powerful at any age, but are especially important for the preschool crowd. We don’t have a pond or a symphony here at the DMA, but we can connect preschoolers with art masterpieces from all over the world.

The Arturo’s Preschool program is a free class for preschool, homeschool, and day care groups serving children ages three to five. In the class, we look closely at paintings, sculpture and other objects; read a picture book; and try out games and movement activities in the galleries. Then with our imaginations ready to create, we go to the art studio where children engage in process-oriented, open-ended art projects. Each month’s gallery discussion and art projects focus on a new theme, covering everything from the dance-inspired paintings of Edgar Degas to intricately sewn textiles from Africa.

Reservations for the 2014-2015 school year are now being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For information on how to book your preschool class, please click here.

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

 

Measuring the Immeasurable

In January 2014, the Center for Creative Connections (C3) launched a series of activities which take place at a large table in our gallery space.  Each activity is related to a work of art in the C3 Gallery and offers resources to assist in visitors’ creative process.

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  •  The Portrait Drawing activity, which focuses on two portrait paintings by William Henry Huddle (Old Slave and Self Portrait), includes mirrors for self-portraiture and facial proportion handouts.
  • The Hybrid Drawing with Light Boxes activity, which focuses on The Minotaur by Marcel Dzama, includes four large light boxes and printouts of works of art from the Museum’s collection so that visitors can combine human and animal figures to draw a hybrid creature.
  • The Patterns with Felt Triangles activity, which focuses on Starry Crown by John Biggers, includes 9×12 inch black felt backgrounds and a colorful assortment of small felt triangles that visitors can use to create patterns similar to those represented in the painting.

After each of the three activities had a one month trial period, we felt certain that they were successful, but wanted to learn more about why and how these activities were successful.  As art educators, we know intrinsically that experiences with art make a difference in people’s lives.  Yet, when we are asked to prove this it can seem an unattainable task.  Proving the importance of art education is perhaps made even more daunting in an informal learning environment where visitors come for various reasons, but generally not to be quizzed about their experiences with art.  So, we sought advice from our evaluator to determine goals, indicators, and potential interview questions for each activity and immediately set to the task of measuring the immeasurable.  Since April, we have observed and interviewed participants at the gallery table each Saturday from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.  During that two and a half hour block of time we have found the following averages:

  • Portrait Drawing– on average 23, adults and 18 children participated; visitors spent about 13.8 minutes drawing with times ranging from 1 – 30 minutes.
  • Hybrid Drawing – on average 27 adults and 36 children participated; visitors spent about 10 minutes drawing with a time range of 1 – 50 minutes.
  • Patterns– on average 11 adults and 9 children participated; visitors spent about 7 minutes creating patterns with a range of 1 – 33 minutes.

Though these averages tell us a lot about how much time people spend and how many people engage in our activities, the most interesting aspect of this evaluation has been hearing our visitors’ feedback and seeing the images they post of their work on social media.

Visitor Feedback:

“Well, it’s like… it’s fun.  Like drawing before was so serious and it had to be perfect, cause you were doing it for a grade.  But this is just for enjoyment.”

“I’m guessing this was made for children? It’s fun and different and I didn’t expect to see this here. Yeah, it’s like that spark of creativity, kind of… childlike.  I didn’t think I’d spend as much time or get into it like I did.”

“People think patterns have to be rigid, like red, yellow, blue and then repeat, but by playing with this you can be more creative.”

“This is more interactive than other galleries. [In] the other galleries you’re just looking, but here you get to do something.”

“I like to do the activity because it gets the kids interested in art, and if I do it, they’ll probably want to try it too.”

“It’s nice to make everyone focus.  I would have never gotten him [points to husband] to do this at home.”

Through this evaluation we have come to better understand our visitors’ habits and motivations. For example, we found that most visitors do not read instructions.  If the instructions are read it is only the main text at the top of the document that catches a visitor’s eye.  This could be because these activities tend to attract visitors who prefer some amount of active doing or making rather than passive looking.  Furthermore, visitors will spend more time participating in activities that provide seating and social interaction.  Regarding motivations, we found that visitors who participate in these activities are likely to have some underlying interest in the media or subject matter presented.

As we move forward and continue to develop activities for the gallery table we will take these lessons into consideration.   We will make our instructions more concise, we will offer activities that involve a social component, and we’ll branch out to include a variety of media so as to appeal to visitors who are interested in diverse artistic processes.

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

 

 

Friday Photos: Museum Forum For Teachers

Last week, I had tIMG_20140725_130701he pleasure of spending my time with teachers and colleagues as part of the annual Museum Forum for Teachers.  This week-long teacher workshop focusing on modern and contemporary art is a collaboration between multiple DFW museums, including The Warehouse, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Kimbell Art Museum, and the Dallas Museum of Art.

During the week, each location hosts a group of twenty-five instructors for one day of discussions and projects for CPE credits.   It was a fun, thought-provoking, and intense experience!  Everyone made two dimensional works of art using only cloth, plastic, paper, stitch witchery, and heated irons at the Warehouse.  Teachers toured an installation project in the Vickery Meadows neighborhood with the Nasher Artist-In-Residence, Rick Lowe.  At the DMA we explored artist-induced meaning through blurring images in the style of Gerhard Richter, and examined institution-created meaning by becoming curators.  In Fort Worth, we created grid-like Minimalist art at The Modern, and painted Japanese screens at the Kimbell.

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The results of one activity were quite interesting: during our day at the Modern we examined Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #50, in which the artist created a drawing and set of instructions for any installers to finish the work at a different location.  In this work of conceptual art, the instructions themselves are the work of art; the installation of it is simply an extension and realization of this idea.  (While visually very different from the Modern’s, LeWitt’s process here is similar to the one he used in the DMA’s Wall Drawing #398, installed in the barrel vault.)

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

We were inspired to create our own work of conceptual paper drawing by creating a set of instructions resembling an “official” certificate designating the instructions as the work of art.  Then we handed our instructions to another participant who had to become the “installer” and draw our image based on the instructions.

IMG_20140731_085544~2For my instructions, I decided to play around with LeWitt’s geometric rigidness by applying it to a negation of bodily control and precise mark-making:

1. Hold a pencil.

2. Spin around thirty-nine times.

3. Try to draw thirty-nine straight parallel lines on a sheet of paper situated vertically (on a wall or easel).

4. After a thirty-nine second break, hold a pencil in your non-dominant hand.

5. Draw thirty-nine straight lines with your non-dominant hand that cross the first set of lines at a ninety-degree angle.

IMG_20140730_160528~2~2Susan, one of the workshop participants, did an amazing job interpreting these instructions.  This was the third of a set of drawings she did based on my instructions, all very different in appearance!  (Although she correctly pointed out that thirty-nine lines were perhaps too many.)

 

If you are interested in applying for next year’s Museum Forum for Teachers, sign up for our educator email newsletter, where we will post information next spring once it has been announced!

Artwork shown:

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

Welcome Josh Rose

 

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I am excited to introduce you to our newest teammate and colleague, Josh Rose. Josh started four weeks ago as our new Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs and we are thrilled to have him on board. Josh will oversee the DMA docent program, teen docents, school partnerships with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and the Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, and a wide variety of programs for teachers. Josh will also be responsible for the Museum Forum for Teachers and will manage gallery tours for K-12 students, higher-ed, and adult audiences.

If you are a longtime attendee of Late Nights, gallery talks, or our lecture series, you may recognize Josh from his time here at the DMA six years ago managing adult programs. During his time away from the DMA, Josh has been immersed in teaching, serving as an adjunct instructor at multiple institutions, including the University of North Texas, Eastfield College and Brookhaven College, where he taught a range of courses from Art Appreciation to advanced art history classes on comics and Surrealism. Prior to working in public programs at the DMA, Josh interned at the Nasher Sculpture Center in education and conservation, and then worked there as a staff member in the Education Department. Josh has an MA in art history from the University of North Texas. His thesis was titled: When Reality was Surreal: Lee Miller’s world War II War Correspondence for Vogue. Josh also has a BFA in Studio Art from Texas State University in San Marcos.

Here are four fun facts about Josh:

  • I drew a comic strip in college and graduate school featured in a nationally-distributed anthology published by Andrews McMeel.
  • I once answered an open casting call for the role of Robin in Batman Forever.
  • As a conservation intern, my first task was power-sanding an Alexander Calder sculpture.
  • I’ve worked hard turning my daughter into a rabid Doctor Who fan, and she in turn has turned me into a rabid My Little Pony fan.

We are excited for Josh’s fresh perspective that he brings and delighted to have him as our FAST (Family, Access, Schools, and Teachers) friend!

Amanda Blake
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences

DART Student Art

The DMA is excited to partner again this year with DART on their 2014 Student Art Contest. Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to create an 11×17 poster illustrating the theme “Off We Go!” Visit DART’s  website for complete rules and info.

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The contest deadline is February 18, so encourage those creative hands to get to work–We can’t wait to see the colorful and imaginative drawings they’ll make!

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

So Long, Farewell…

For the past six-and-a-half years, the Dallas Museum of Art has been my home. I have often referred to my office as my “apartment,” and my co-workers have come to feel like my family. But sometimes, you need to move away from home and on to something new, and now is that time for me. I have accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Interpretive Programming at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and December 9th will be my last day at the DMA.

It’s very bittersweet to be leaving a place (and people) that I love. But my new job will present opportunities to plan programs for visitors of all ages–from toddlers to adults–and I’m looking forward to broadening my knowledge of Museum Education through this new position. And I’ll be a lot closer to my family in Michigan, which will be wonderful.

As I reflect back on my time in Dallas, it’s tough to narrow down my favorite DMA memories. I’m not sure what I’ll miss most!

Maybe my desk–but a lot of these things will be moving to Ohio with me.

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Or maybe the Scrabble game that has been occurring on my file cabinet for the past year.

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I’ll certainly miss our docents, whose passion and dedication to the DMA continues to amaze and inspire me.

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And I will most definitely miss the clever and talented students of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. My time with them has been one of the highlights.

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I’ll miss the DMA’s amazing collection, including The Icebergs.  We all jumped for joy when it returned to the galleries earlier this year.

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And most of all, I will miss the DMA Education department. They have taught me everything I know about being a Museum Educator, and they’re not just my colleagues. They are my dearest friends. I’ll especially miss our retreats and off-site meetings–we know how to have fun while getting work done!

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Thank you to everyone who has made my time at the DMA so memorable–from students to teachers and from the docents to my colleagues. I will miss everyone very much, but hope to see y’all again soon!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs


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