Posts Tagged 'Technology'



Educator Resources: Video Visions

Ever since it killed the radio star, video has been thriving.  Let’s take a look at three valuable resources with great videos featuring art, art history, artists, and curators.  Educators in and out of the classroom just might want to add these to their “toolboxes,” if you haven’t already.

1. Smarthistory – Started as a blog in 2005, this oh-so-smart, multimedia resource makes art history come alive on the web.  No more expensive, heavy textbooks to tote around!  Smarthistory includes over 360 videos and continues to grow through a recent merger with Khan Academy, which allows founders Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker to focus full-time on expanding content.  In addition to the videos, which are easily sorted via thirteen categories ranging from art historical periods to materials, the website includes images and information for over 440 artworks, as well as sample syllabi and strategies for teaching art history online.

2. Artists Documentation Program – This is a new favorite of mine, discovered while surfing the Art 21 blog last year.  The Artists Documentation Program (ADP) features twenty-nine interviews with contemporary artists and their close associates discussing the materials and techniques of the artists’ works.  Jasper Johns, Mel Chin, Cy Twombly, Ann Hamilton, and Sarah Sze are just a few of the artists interviewed.  Conducted by conservators, the videos are intended primarily as research documents to aid in preservation and care of the art.  Some of the footage goes back to the early 1990s when the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a grant to the Menil Collection in Houston.  Following this initial grant, the project continued and expanded under the leadership of former Menil conservator Carol Mancusi-Ungaro.  The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Center for the Study of Modern Art at Harvard are key collaborators.   Note: while viewing of the videos is free, the ADP requires users to register before granting access to video interviews.  This acknowledges and supports appropriate use of the videos.

3. DMA.Mobi – Available via mobile devices and the web, this home-grown, Dallas Museum of Art resource showcases artworks in the Museum’s collection and current exhibitions.  Piloted in summer 2009, the smARTphone tours re-launched this month with a new design and fifty new artwork stops.  Videos featuring DMA curators discussing works in the collection are a key component.  Cultural information, contextual images, and audio clips provide additional information about the artworks.

DMA smARTphone tour screen

Anne Bromberg, the Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art, discusses a Roman mosaic in the DMA's collection

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Staff Spotlight: Tom Jungerberg

Over the past two years, we’ve shared with you our exciting work with teachers related to Connect: Teachers, Technology and Art, a project supported by an IMLS grant.  This funding made possible a grant coordinator position that assists with various tasks related to the grant.   Tom Jungerberg quickly fit in with our department, and helped tilt the very uneven ratio of male to female staff ever-so-slightly in the opposite direction.

Could you trace the path that has brought you to the DMA?

I have Bachelor’s degrees from Florida State University in art history and English, and a Master’s degree from Boston University in English.  I’m originally from Florida and I lived there for two years prior to moving to Dallas. I worked at University of South Florida as a visiting assistant professor teaching composition, mostly, and expository writing.

My girlfriend began teaching at UNT Dallas last August, and that’s what brought me here. When I got here, I was excited to see an opening for the IMLS grant coordinator position since it seemed so suitable to my skill set. 

What is your role with the IMLS grant?

I serve as the liaison between Nicole and Jenny and the teachers – I correspond with teachers and coordinate meetings with them.  I write and edit some of the new online teaching resources.  I also participate in meetings, during which we discuss how we’ll approach the artwork as we develop materials and the steps we’ll need to follow to complete the project.

What has been the most interesting aspect of your work here?

I’ve really enjoyed everything, but it’s been especially interesting to observe teachers in the classroom. It’s great to see how people take the materials we’re preparing and apply them to their own curricula and lesson plans.  I appreciate being able to see the final outcome of these things that we’re making, and to see the different ways they’ll be used when they go public.

How do you spend your free time?

I just bought a house, so that takes a lot of my free time.  It was built in 1895, and legend has that it was built by one of the founders of TCU.  I also raise chickens, and I have a garden which I’m pretty excited about since it’s the growing season.  Yellow and green squash are coming in right now; I have also planted tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, spinach, some lettuce, bok choy, peas, and green beans.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

That’s hard, as this job is ending in September.  I enjoyed my time at University of South Florida, so I’d like to teach.  I think teaching, but if you ask me tomorrow, I don’t know.

We’ve invited Tom to be a guest blogger; look for posts written by him in the coming months.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Educator Resources: Sneak a Peek at New Online Teaching Materials

Egungun costume; 1920 - 1950; Yoruba peoples, Nigeria; cotton, silk, and wool fabric, metal, leather, mirrors, cotton, and wood; Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund, 1995.35.

This Egungun costume from Nigeria is one of sixty-five artworks in the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection that will be part of new online teaching materials to be launched in Fall 2011. Education staff, working in close collaboration with curators, designers, and web developers, have been hard at work for over one year designing a new model for creating online resources for teachers that are easy-to-access and provide the following:

  • more and better-organized information
  • video and audio clips related to the artworks and cultures
  • contextual images and multiple views of the artworks
  • teaching ideas that could be customized by classroom educators

The project is officially called Connect: Teachers, Technology, and Art, and it is supported through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. When we started our project work in November 2009, we went straight to the audience we serve: TEACHERS.  The dialogue and partnership that developed with ten teachers who were selected to represent the minds, wishes, and needs of classroom educators everywhere has been crucial, as it led to a pivotal decision about the presentation of information and ideas about the sixty-five works of art.

These teachers helped us test current teaching materials to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and they showed us how they might use objects like the Egungun costume in a classroom experience with their students. Together, we analyzed and re-imagined what great teaching materials for DMA artworks could be and we are excited to reveal this sneak peek.

I reveal to you the new template for online teaching materials and the future of online resources for teachers and students at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Each work of art will have its own set of information, clearly organized according to tabs.  The “First Glance” tab provides introductory information about the object, similar to the information found on a label in the galleries.  It may serve as the hook to pull you further into an exploration of the artwork.  The “Extended Information” tab provides paragraphs of topical information that reveal more about the object.  For example, the Egungun costume information includes paragraphs about Death and Religion, Materials, and African Masquerades.  This text has been culled from new curatorial scholarship and existing interpretive resources.  A teacher will also find contextual images in this section.

The third tab, “Teaching Ideas,” is a section presenting questions, comparisons, and activities that any teacher could use to get started teaching a lesson using this artwork.  These ideas are a mix of resources generated by DMA education staff and K-12 teachers.  Finally, the “Media/Resources” tab provides extra resources in the form of books, audio and video clips, and additional web sites.  We are also working to provide as many pronunciations as possible for less familiar words, easy print capabilities, opportunities to view the images in larger sizes, and access to detail images of the art.

In April, we will begin testing this new model with a new group of ten teachers. Will they agree with the first ten in terms of needs and wishes?  That is exactly what we hope to find out. Each of the new teachers will design and implement a lesson using the teaching material template above, and we will ask them to tell us what works and what needs to be changed or added.  We look forward to this second round of crucial work because it will only make the online resources stronger.  What are your initial thoughts about this new look and presentation?

At the completion of the Connect project, we plan to have a wonderful new model, but we will only have converted sixty-five objects to the new teaching materials.  We have hundreds to convert!  A redesigned home page and teacher resources site will help us streamline the presentation of resources as we remain in transition mode and continue converting the existing resources to the new format.  I will be anxious to share the new site with you later this year and welcome your comments.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Calm, Yet Fierce: An Experiment in Social Tagging Works of Art

Emma-O, Japan, late 16th - early 17th century

What words and phrases would you use to describe this sculpture, Emma-O?  Calm?  Fierce?  Intense?  The Dallas Museum of Art is interested in what teachers have to say about a select group of artworks from the Museum’s collection.  Visit STEVE: The Museum Social Tagging Project to “tag” one, five, or ten of the fifty-two images of artworks from the African and Asian collections.  If you are new to “social tagging”, it simply means to “tag”, or label, a work of art with a descriptive or associative word or phrase.

Why do we care about what you think?  Well, we often get very comfortable with our own vocabularies, which may or may not be interesting or accessible to everyone.  The idea behind social tagging is that you can build a more broad vocabulary around ideas or artworks and can consider new ways to describe and to think about works of art. It is also a great way to work with expert audiences–like educators.  We want to know what words and phrases you would use to describe various works of art and what we can learn from you.

This tagging project is one part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s IMLS grant, Connect: Teachers, Technology, and Art, which is focused on the redesign of online teaching materials for teachers and students.  In partnership with the New Media Consortium, the DMA is one of several museums participating in the Steve-in-Action project exploring various applications for social tagging with works of art.

We invite you to participate in this project.  Visit our tagger environment and look for a screen similar to the image below.  Create your login and then tag away.  Spend five or fifteen minutes sharing words and phrases that you feel aptly describe works of art from the Dallas Museum of Art.  It’s also fun to see what others have to say about the artworks.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

DFS + DMA = Summer Film Fun

Mark Menza teaches sound design for film at the DMA.

The second annual offering of Film Workshops for youth are in full swing this summer at the DMA.  Dallas Film Society is a key partner for these workshops, recruiting film industry professionals from the area to lead workshops at the Museum.  Workshop topics include cinematography, sound design, costuming and set design, animation, acting, and screen writing.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Zombie make-up for these young stars!

Stop-motion animation set

Behind-the-Scenes: The Making of Coastlines Soundscapes

Have you immersed yourself yet in the multi-sensory experience of Coastlines: Images of Land and Sea?  If not, let me tease you…

This is one of twelve individual sound designs created for works of art in the exhibition, and these individual sound designs represent only one layer of a three-part, synchronized sound installation. A global soundscape powered by two subwoofers is audible throughout the Coastlines exhibition and contains musical elements shaped by the natural sounds and rhythms of waves. Regional soundscapes emerge from ten ceiling-mounted speakers and respond to the thematic sections of the exhibition. The twelve local, or individual, soundscapes representing interpretations of selected works of art are delivered through Holosonics hyperdirectional speakers, which allow for a controlled design of the auditory space.  Now that I’ve geeked out on the technology of the sound installation, let me tell you a little more about the making of this sonic experience.

The Coastlines sound installation was created by graduate students and faculty in the Arts and Technology program at the University of Texas at Dallas, in collaboration with undergraduate students in the School of Information and Communication and Media Engineering at the Université du Sud Toulon-Var (USTV), in Toulon, France.  The project began in September 2009 with several planning meetings between UT Dallas and the Dallas Museum of Art focusing on exhibition themes and artworks, as well as technological possibilities. UT Dallas faculty and students presented a proof of concept demonstration in December 2009 for the multilayer sound design and use of hyperdirectional speakers. In January 2010, under the direction of UT Dallas professor Dr. Frank Dufour, students selected works of art in the Coastlines exhibition and began composing sonic interpretations for these works. Lead graduate students Michael Austin and Jason Barnett also began work on the conceptual and technical development of the overall multilayer sound design.

Professor Frank Dufour talks with French students via Skype.

Communications about the project between the creators occurred primarily through the Internet using Skype, a free web-based chat software, and a private social network that provided a forum for the exchange of ideas, images, and iterative sound designs.  The exchange was bilingual, encouraging each set of students to work through language barriers.  In addition, Michael Austin visited the USTV students in Toulon, France during project development to lead them in sound design workshops.  One of the workshops included collecting sounds from the harbor in Toulon, France.  Many of these were used in the individual sound designs created by students in Texas and France.

Michael collects sounds of the harbor in Toulon.

French students record the sound of water.

This project is an education initiative undertaken in part with the support of FRAME, the French Regional and American Museum Exchange. FRAME fosters exchanges between a group of American and French art museums committed to establishing long-term partnerships on common projects that make their respective resources available to a wider public. Several collaborating museums and universities involved with FRAME are focused on the relationship between music and art and support the work of young artists.

This Friday night at the Dallas Museum of Art Late Night you can support the work of young artists involved in the Coastlines sound design project.  Visit the exhibition, then stop into the Theater in the Center for Creative Connections at 8:30 p.m. to hear Dr. Dufour and students from UT Dallas share insights about the project and their process.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Coastlines: Images of Land and Sea

Berthe Morisot, The Port of Nice, 1881-82, 1985.R.40

This past Sunday, Coastlines: Images of Land and Sea opened at the Museum.  I came to see the opening with only an hour to spare, but will definitely be spending more time in the galleries; it’s an incredible exhibition.  Actually, Coastlines is an incredible experience

The show is curated by Heather MacDonald, The Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art, and is comprised of some fifty works from the DMA and local collections.  The artworks are as diverse as the coastlines that inspired them. There are vibrant Impressionist paintings; spare, modern photographs; energetic gestural drawings; and more.

What is more exciting than the impact of any one artwork is the experience of being in the exhibition itself.  Artwork labels have sea-inspired passages from literature.  There are also sound installations throughout the galleries created through a partnership with the University of Texas at Dallas Arts and Technology program (ATEC).  Graduate students and faculty in the ATEC program composed these soundscapes, some in response to specific artworks, some in response to the exhibition’s themes.  Hyper-directional speakers hang above the twelve selected artworks, directing the sound right to you.  Standing under the speakers is like putting a seashell to your ear and hearing the ocean. 

Bottom line:  Come see it!  You’ll be very glad you did.

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach


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