Posts Tagged 'teens'



Cross-Cultural Connections

Hi, I’m Taylor Strander, a senior from McKinney Boyd High School and a DMA Teen Advisory Council member. As the school year draws to a close and graduation looms near, I thought it was a perfect time to reflect on my busy year at the DMA! I have spent a great part of my school year exploring the DMA collection and collaborating with staff on a project for my ISM class.

What is ISM? ISM stands for Interdisciplinary Study and Mentorship – a program specifically designed for high school students who have an idea of the career they want to explore beyond high school. The goal of the class is to develop interpersonal and networking skills in the hopes of obtaining a mentor that can offer their expertise in the creation of a final product. As someone interested in studying art history in college, I immediately sought to find a mentor who worked in a museum and was immersed in art every day. I distinctly remember growing quite fond of the DMA after my first visit with my elementary school class, and since then I have seized every opportunity to learn more about the Museum by participating in the Teen Docent Program and serving as a Community Engagement Volunteer.

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Due to my prior experience, I thought it would be most fitting to select a mentor from the place that catalyzed my passion for art. So I began my weekly commute to the DMA to meet and brainstorm with my mentors, Jessica Thompson and Whitney Sirois, on my final project for the class. Working with them has offered me a deeper understanding of the field of museum education and has strengthened my desire to pursue a career in a museum one day. My final project turned out to be something greater than I ever could have imagined and best of all, it is something that can be implemented in the Museum today.

So, what did I create? In order to gain a better grasp on the role of a museum educator, I designed my very own Bite-Sized Tour and Art-to-Go Family Tote Bag complete with four different activities.

During my first meeting with Jessica and Whitney, I was inspired by the DMA’s exhibition Spirit and Matter: Masterpieces from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art, which features a variety of Islamic works from the internationally renowned Keir Collection. It was important to me to reference this collection for my project because Islamic art seems to be misunderstood and its influence on global cultures is often forgotten. After some heavy research, I used my newfound knowledge of Islamic art to create a Bite-Sized Tour entitled “Cross-Cultural Connections.” This guide highlights Islamic works and directly compares them to other objects in the DMA’s permanent collection in an effort to encourage visitors to notice similar qualities or influences across cultures.

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The second component of my final project is an Art-to-Go Family Tote Bag, which is meant to reinforce visitors’ understanding of Islamic art through different activities that highlight specific artistic elements. Family Tote Bags are great because they offer fun, on-the-go activities for a variety of different age groups and learning styles. For the tote bag, I came up with four separate activities – write, make, draw, and talk.

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The writing activity asks visitors to reference Islamic calligraphy to create their own epic poem. The make activity allows visitors to make their own astrolabe, a navigational tool that revolutionized Islamic culture. The drawing activity invites people to design their own geometric patterns inspired by Islamic textiles and ceramics. Finally, the talk activity encourages visitors to discuss Islamic art influences within the Museum’s permanent collection. Islam’s holy month of Ramadan has just begun, so take a moment to explore the many connections you can make to this world religion and its artistic traditions on your next visit to the Museum.

A special thank you to my mentors, Jessica and Whitney, for giving a young person like me an invaluable experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Your words of wisdom and constant support will not be soon forgotten. And finally, thank you to the DMA for transforming before my eyes into a place that I know all too well, a place that feels like home.

Taylor Strander
Teen Advisory Council Member

Interviews with Young Masters

It isn’t every day that we’re able to peek into the minds behind the artworks on view at the DMA. Earlier this month, KERA announcer Shelley Kenneavy interviewed some of the teens whose work is currently on display in the concourse as part of the 2016 Young Masters exhibition. The students gave us a bit of insight into their sources of inspiration—ranging from the Star Wars musical score to insecurities about personal appearances—and shared their hopes as future artists, engineers, art historians, and musicians.

This year’s exhibition features sixty works selected from 858 submissions by AP Fine Arts students from ten local area high schools. Sponsored by the O’Donnell Foundation and on view through April 17, the exhibit includes forty-nine 2D and 3D works of art created by AP Studio Art students, five essays analyzing works of art in the DMA’s permanent collections by AP Art History students, and six original compositions by AP Music Theory students. The essays and compositions can be heard through the DMA’s mobile site here.

One of this year’s participating students is Allison Li, whose piece is titled Passing Tranquility. I first met Allison when she began volunteering at the Center for Creative Connections earlier this year, and was thrilled to see her digital photography installed as part of the Young Masters exhibition. To learn a bit more about the exhibition from the student’s perspective, I asked Allison a few questions about her influences, challenges, and takeaways as a 2016 Young Master.

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Allison Li, Passing Tranquility, Coppell High School

Who are some of the artists you admire? What draws you to their work?

I admire many artists, some include Monet, Nguan, Sachin Teng, and many more. Many of the artists I like, I found online through their various social media accounts. I’m mainly drawn to artist’s works because of the color they use in their pieces, especially Monet and Nguan; I really like the pastel and light colors they use for their pieces. Also, the subject matter of what artists portray in their pieces is a big factor.

How would you describe your creative process? What is most challenging about creating work? What is most rewarding? 

My creative process usually starts with a vague idea or concept in which I try to define it more in detail in my own head before I put anything on paper. Drawing ideas or sketches sometimes helps me better visualize what I want in a piece. After coming up with an idea, I will usually figure out what materials I need and how I want to create the artwork. I think the most challenging and most important part of creating art is coming up with the idea. It usually takes me a very long time to come up with ideas that I like and exactly how I want to execute the idea. I think the most rewarding part of this process is either having an idea you feel confident in or the final piece; both feel rewarding depending on the outcome.

What motivated you to submit your artwork for consideration in the Young Masters exhibition?

My art teacher at school informed us of this opportunity and gave us class time to create a piece to submit to the exhibition. My mom also really encouraged me to pursue my passion for art and thought it would be great and an honor if I was in the Young Masters exhibition.

Your work in the exhibition, Passing Tranquility, invites viewers to consider moments of peace in otherwise hectic environments. Where do you find tranquility in today’s fast-paced atmosphere?

I find the most peace when I am at home and don’t have homework to do. Those times are the most relaxing as I don’t have any lingering tasks that need to be done right away, and instead I get to enjoy my free time.

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How does participating in Young Masters change the way you approach other art exhibitions as a visitor?

After going to the DMA and seeing my artwork hung up on the Museum’s walls with other great pieces, I felt very humbled and amazed that my piece was up there. Now seeing other artworks in the Museum makes me have much more respect for all the artists that are in museums.

 

Do you see yourself continuing to make artwork like Passing Tranquility in the future?

I am actually making similar pieces to Passing Tranquility as it is part of my concentration that I am doing for my AP 2D Design class right now. This piece was actually the first piece in a series of twelve works that I am creating for my portfolio.

What advice do you have for other young artists?

I think that the best thing to do as a young artist is to keep practicing and try not to get too discouraged if things don’t always go as planned. I believe practicing will definitely pay off in the future and seeing the improvement you have made over the years will be very rewarding. I also think that seeing other artists and artwork besides your own is important; I look at many artworks online created by various artists that post their work on social media, such as Instagram or Twitter.

If you’re curious about what some of the other Young Masters have to say about their experience, don’t miss the second round of interviews with the teens at the upcoming Late Night on April 15. For a blast from the past, check out the video recordings of previous Young Masters interviews.

We can’t wait to see what Allison and the other Young Masters create next! Cast your ballot in the People’s Choice Award at the April Late Night to vote for your favorite studio art, art history, and music theory work in the Young Masters exhibition.

Paulina Lopez
McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement

I Spy with my Little Pi

Pie: such an integral piece of American culture that has inspired ideas of prosperity and quite a few idioms. Ironically, though, pie has been around for a lot longer than the United States, dating back all the way to Ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who made them not for their delicious taste but for their reliability. However, we aren’t talking about that kind of pie today.

The Art of Pi

Where does mathematical pi come from? This constant is the relation between the diameter and circumference of a circle, first calculated by the Ancient Greek mathematician, Archimedes.

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Detail, Melchor Pérez Holguín, Virgin of the Rosary, Late 17th-Early 18th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mary de la Garza-Hanna and Virginia de la Garza and an anonymous donor.

For thousands of years, the simple circle has inspired art and philosophy from all over the world. In religious art–from Buddha to Jesus to Apollo–circles as halos adorned the heads of the divine and sacred. On the other hand, circles and other geometric shapes became prominent in early Islamic art because of an opposition to creating figures, since they could be construed as idolatrous. These circles became part of exquisite Islamic architecture, like in the immense arches, domes, and designs of the Hagia Sophia.

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Detail, Folio of a Qur’an, 1409 AD, The Keir Collection of Islamic Art on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art.

The Math of Pi

There is one place in which our old pal pi comes to play in the world of math and circles–the beloved radian. These are often addressed in pre-calculus and paired with the similarly adored unit circle. These concepts are often rushed with little explanation. Why can’t the world be fine with degrees? Don’t they just serve the same purpose as radians?

There is a reason for the existence of radians. They are an alternative that not only measure an angle, but the correlating arclength. One radian is the angle made when you wrap the radius along the circumference of a circle. We can visualize the internal relationship of radians as follows:

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We have a circle on the xy-plane with some angle that can be seen starting from the positive x-axis to the red line. To see this concept, we can find the arclength that is highlighted by referring to our well-known equation to find the circumference (circumference = 2πr).

Let us take the circle as the unit circle and angle as π/2. From inspection and prior knowledge, we see that the arclength is ¼ of the entire circumference. In order to find this measure, we would calculate a fourth of the circumference (so arclength = ¼ circumference = ¼ 2πr = πr/2). We see that the arclength = πr/2 with a radius of 1 (due to the unit circle) and we see that – in this case – an angle of π/2 has an arclength of π/2.

This works even without the unit circle! If our radius is 2, 5, or 1,000! Knowing that the arclength of this angle is πr/2 means that we know that it is π,  5π/2, and  500π respectively.

Activity

Here’s a familiar activity: to show pi in the real world, you can take any circular object, string, ruler, and scissors. Take your string, wrap it around your item once, and cut it so that both ends tightly meet. Measure your string and the diameter. Using our handy dandy formula, the circumference = 2pi r = pi diameter. With what we have, pi should be equivalent to circumference / diameter. Take your measures and see just how close to pi you can get!

Just a tip: make sure your string doesn’t have much give as when using it to measure, its stretch will distort your calculations.

A way to see the wonderful radian–using the same materials as before–is to measure your object’s radius and cut an equal length of string. See how many times this length will fit along the circumference. You should find that 2π – or 6.283 – pieces will cover it just nicely.

Personally, though, we think everyone should celebrate the journey of the circle with a generous slice (or two) of your favorite pie and a trip down to the DMA.

Kennedy Schleicher and Nikki Li
Teen Advisory Council Members

TAC-kling the Future

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The Teen Advisory Council (or TAC for short!) was created to extend engagement and involve the teen perspective in creating new artistic experiences for visitors. We currently have fourteen members: Shirui, Won, Mo, Emma, Nathen, Carson, Maddi, Christina, Bethany, Taylor, Claire, Nikki, Riya, and me, Jierui. Our mentor, Jessica Thompson, is the Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs at the DMA.

Founded in 2014, the TAC has been involved in a variety of endeavors at first with JC Bigornia at the helm. On our first project, we partnered with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and artist Brittany Ransom to create a window panel mural celebrating the fusion of the arts and sciences. The mural featured a tableau of microscopic views of everyday objects.

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Our next stop was a partnership with Big Thought through their City of Learning program with the goal of preventing summer education loss. In a series of Turn Up events, our booth created a My Dallas Is… board (inspired by the Before I Die Wall) to better understand our fellow residents’ perspectives on our city. Later, Eliel Jones, a former McDermott intern, engaged us in his Experiments on Public Space project. The resulting Alternative Signage performance art piece used cardboard signs to break the barriers between the public and the Museum.

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The June 2015 Late Night marked our biggest involvement with the Museum as we planned tours, haiku slams, scavenger hunts, speaker talks, and other superhero themed activities. Lastly, our most recent January Late Night Creations workshop with Jessica returned to our interest in the intersection of the arts and sciences. We used LED lights in conjunction with batteries to illuminate beloved works of art from the DMA’s permanent collection.

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So what’s in store for the TAC? Your next chance to hear from us–after reading our lovely introduction to the blogosphere–is at our February Late Night Creations workshop entitled Rest On Your Laurels on February 19th. Join us as we celebrate your individual virtues and vices in the spirit of Classical tradition! We are also in the process of planning a teen workshop and other programs in the community. Although we may be relatively young, we are excited to add our mark to the vibrant canvas of the DMA!

Until next time!

Jierui Fang
Teen Advisory Council member

Hello My Name Is Jessica Thompson

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Jessica winning our coveted Great Pumpkin trophy on Halloween.

I’m Jessica, the new Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs. Although you might have seen me before in Late Night Creations, I formally joined the Museum in November 2015. As an artist, I thought I’d tell you a little more about myself through one of my favorite forms of art-making: zines!

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You can find me in the Center for Creative Connections, where I oversee:

  • Teen Workshops and Summer camps
  • The Teen Advisory Council and Teen Docent programs
  • Booker T. Washington Learning Lab
  • Late Night Creations
  • and more!

Working with teens is the best part of my job. Teenagers are routinely the most enthusiastic and excited people I come across. Listening to what they’re interested in and thinking about is like getting a glimpse into the future (be advised: the future is bright).

I didn’t know museum education careers existed until I started volunteering in C3 in 2012. Museum education combines all my interests and allows me to give back to my community. If I weren’t working at the DMA, however, I would probably be a window dresser at Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman.

If you enjoyed the zine, check out the upcoming Urban Armor: Zine Making workshop on January 23rd. We’ll be making a zine inspired by Spirit and Matter: Masterpieces from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art. Hope to see you there!

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs

CosPlaying at the DMA

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This week, teens have been experimenting and creating through group and solo challenges during our Urban Armor: Cosplay Challenge Camp. Each challenge allows this group to learn new concepts and construction techniques to use in their final costume design which they showcased this afternoon in the Museum galleries. Inspired by last year’s Zombie Camp, this year’s group was visited daily by experts from various professions that they may want to pursue like film and fashion. One of the returning campers from last year, a student at Booker T. Washington, said “this (the Urban Armor camp) is the only camp that I sign up for every year because it’s so awesome. I love it.”

So if you’re in the DMA galleries this afternoon, don’t be surprised if you run into a superhero or two.


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Take a Summer Safari at the DMA

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This year’s class of teen docents.

This summer, bring your summer school students and summer campers to the Dallas Museum of Art for a tour led by one of our teen docents! Our docent-guided tours allow students to form meaningful connections with works of art through close looking and interactive gallery experiences, including sketching, writing, group discussion, and more. Teen docents conduct summer tours for young visitors (ages 5-12) all summer long, during which they encourage critical and creative thinking while addressing all learning styles. If you are interested in scheduling a guided tour with one of our teen docents, the process is easy!

Step 1: Visit www.dma.org/tours. This page includes information about fees–FREE if you are an educational organization and scheduled 2-3 weeks in advance!

Step 2: Click on Docent-Guided Tour Request Form, making sure you already have a few dates approved for a visit.

Step 3: Choose whether you would like the “Animal Safari” tour or the “Summer Vacation” tour.

  • On the “Animal Safari” tour, students will set off on a safari to search for animals in works of art. They will think about how animals look and what they might mean and symbolize in works of art from all over the world.
  • On the “Summer Vacation” tour, students will travel the world without ever leaving the Museum! They will think about how they spend their summer vacation and make connections between their favorite summer activities and those they see in works of art.

Step 4: Choose a date and time. Docent-guided tours are only available in the summer on Wednesday and Friday between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. We can only tour 30 students every hour, but feel free to split them between a few hours! For example, half the students can tour at 11:00 a.m. while the other half explore our collection in small groups or eat lunch in our Sculpture Garden.

Step 5: Once the form is submitted, you will be added to our schedule in the first available time and day.

We have lots of room left in our schedule, and our teens are ready to show your students their favorite pieces! We hope you join us for a Safari or a Vacation soon!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator


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