Posts Tagged 'Thinking Creatively'

C3 The Place To Be!

The Center for Creative Connections is a hands-on, interactive, experimental learning environment for people of all ages at the Dallas Museum of Art. I am honored to be part of some amazing programs for adult visitors that offer a variety of learning experiences for beginners and experts!

Thursday Night Programs

Twice a month during DMA’s Thursday Night Live, C3 offers two-hour adult workshops from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in our classrooms. During one of these Thursday evenings we bring in creativity expert Magdalena Grohman, Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Dallas, and a local art educator to lead Think Creatively. The Think Creatively program provides adults the opportunity to put creative thinking to practice and discover the power to transform the imagination. Each workshop has a different theme and focus on one of the following: associations, inquisitiveness, or transformation. To sign up for upcoming C3 Adult workshops click here.

Participants discussing their work.

Participants discussing their work.

The other Thursday program offered is our C3 Artistic Encounters workshop where we invite local artists from the community in to lead art making workshops related to the DMA’s collection. In addition to that, this year we also featured an evening called C3 Digital Show and Tell where our visitors submitted their personal artwork and work they created during the C3 classes to show to everyone on the big screen!

C3AE with guest artist Juergen Strunk

C3AE with guest artist Juergen Strunk


Late Night Programs

Late Night at the DMA is an incredible evening for the entire family. There is always something happening in our various theaters, stages, classrooms and galleries. One of our Late Night programs is the Creativity Challenge. Ten teams compete against time and others with limited materials in order to make unique creations inspired by works of art from our collection. These challenges are always fun, risk-free, hands-on and meant to encourage divergent thinking.

Creating love songs to works of art and musical instruments. This team is creating a one woman band!

Creating love songs to works of art and musical instruments. This team is creating a one woman band!

Miss DMA Creativity Challenge

Miss DMA Creativity Challenge

Our next Creativity Challenge will be during Late Night on March 15th. Bring your team and sign up with me at 9:30 p.m. in C3!

Be sure to come by and check out the exciting programming happening in C3!

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

Teaching for Creativity: Questioning Coloring Books

Perhaps you enjoyed coloring books as a child or have coloring books around your home for your children. Creativity specialist and University of Texas at Dallas professor, Magdalaena Grohman, provides insight into the creative value of coloring books and ideas for enriching the coloring experience.

As a psychologist and a mom of two, I have an unrelenting tendency to look for games, toys, and activities that teach children to think and communicate, that develop imagination, and that shape creativity and multiple intelligences. And recently, coloring books have caught my attention.

For the past couple years my two sons, ages 6 and almost 4 years old, have been bringing coloring sheets home. I’ve been thinking: What do coloring books teach our children? What is their educational value?

For starters, the act of filling in the color within boundaries plays an important role in the development of hand-eye coordination, a crucial component in mastering handwriting. I’m afraid, however, that’s about it. How so? Well, let’s look at the most accessible coloring books you can buy in a supermarket. Most of them include outlines of  popular movie and book characters. If a child is familiar with a given character, it may significantly restrict the color palette. Spiderman, for example, will most likely be red, blue and black. There are even more restrictive activity books, in which a specific color pigment is already embedded in the pages and ready to use. Just dip a brush in water and you’re good to go. How convenient! Not only does a child remain clean (so do walls and floors), she doesn’t have to think what colors need to be used. At the very least, coloring books reinforce mindless copying and schematic color use.

So, shall we throw them away? Well, here’s a caveat. Children do like coloring, and—let’s admit it—it is a perfect activity to keep them busy so we can catch up with chores or steal 10 minutes to pause and think.

But, if you have some time to sit down with your children and play with them, I suggest you try the following fun activities with your ordinary coloring book:

  • Use an atypical color scheme (Spiderman is yellow, pink and green) and discuss the character “wearing” different colors
  • Add different elements to the picture
  • Change a given outline into something completely different and give it funny titles
  • Glue small pieces of torn magazine pages within the outline

Thank you, Dr. Grohman for your ideas!

Dr. Grohman leads Think Creatively! workshops in the Center for Creative Connections on the first Thursday of every month.

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

Top Ten List of New and Upcoming Programs and Events

  1. iMuseum 2.0 Late Night:  Our September 21st Late Night is a not-to-miss night of new, experimental, and interactive programs.  Among them are a Choose Your Own Adventure tour and your chance to text a work of art with your questions.
  2. New acquisitions on viewCurrent exhibition Variations on Theme: Contemporary Art 1950s-Present features more than a dozen of the Museum’s 2011 and 2012 new acquisitions.  Check out online versions of the Museum’s Annual Reports and What’s New to keep up with our recent acquisitions, and then come see them at the Museum.
  3. Art-making in Posters of Paris. An art-making area in the upcoming Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries exhibition will provide visitors with everything they need to create their own artistic poster.  Leave a copy of your creation at the Museum (to be posted on a wall in the exhibition), and take the real thing home for the fridge!
  4. Staff Art, Staff Selections.  Visit in November to see an exhibition with artworks created by staff members.  Also on view in the Center for Creative Connections is our Personal Point of View series where a Museum staffer is invited to select and respond to an artwork for the main gallery space.
  5. Book Talk.  A book club-style event, Book Talk brings together Museum members (Sustainer level and above) for exhibition-inspired book discussions, exclusive lectures and tours, and author meet & greets.
  6. Klyde Warren Park Opening & Art Beyond Sight.  On Saturday, October 27th and Sunday, October 28th, the DMA takes art-making activities into Klyde Warren Park for their grand opening.  In honor of Art Beyond Sight Awareness month, we are focusing on experiencing art with senses other than vision. Sketch a nature scene, and then use scented paint to create your scene based on how it might smell.
  7. Karla Black: Concentrations 55:  As part of Concentrations—a series of project-based solo exhibitions by emerging artists— artist Karla Black will transform our Hoffman galleries with a sculptural installation.
  8. Urban Armor: Programs for Teens & Tweens.  As someone who discovered her love of art as a teenager, I’m pretty excited about the new suite of programs we offered are offer for a teen/tween audience. Urban Armor recently wrapped up a two-day graffiti project with a local artist and will kick off its Open Lab program this Sunday, August 26th, from 1:00-3:00pm.
  9. Arts & Letters Live presents Chris Cleave. On Tuesday, October 9th, the New York Times bestselling author of Little Bee will discuss his newest novel.  Chris Cleave’s Gold is a tale of friendship between two female cyclists and how they traverse the shifting sands of ambition, loyalty, and love on the eve of their last Olympics.
  10. Thinking Creatively Workshops.  I’m cheating a little with this one; it isn’t new to us, it’s just a great program. Starting September 13th, creativity expert Dr. Magdalena Grohman will lead a monthly Thursday evening Thinking Creatively workshop. The experience will begin with creative thinking exercises and conclude with a making activity that builds on ideas generated during the exercises. Workshops will be held on October 11th, November 8th, and December 6th, all from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. in the Center for Creative Connections.  To get a taste of what you can expect, check out our Teaching for Creativity series; many featured activities are inspired by Dr. Grohman’s past workshops.

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach


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