Posts Tagged 'Workshops'

Friday Photos: Mexican Modernism for All

Are you looking to add to your teacher-toolkit, collaborate with other educators, and discover what’s new at the Dallas Museum of Art? Be sure to sign up for our Educator Newsletter so you don’t miss out on special opportunities for teachers at the Museum!

We recently wrapped up our final teacher workshop of the school year, Mexican Modernism for All. Inspired by the exhibition México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde, this workshop introduced learning strategies to teach, interpret, and use works of art in the classroom and in museum galleries. In partnership with Stacey Callaway, Ph.D., this workshop also introduced adaptive strategies geared to incorporate students with autism spectrum disorders into art classes, projects, and museum visits. Workshop participants created their own scent jars, sensory boards, and brainstormed mess-free adaptations for a studio mosaic project. Here’s what our participants had to say about the program:

The strategies for looking at art were helpful. I enjoyed the time with the artwork.

 

I found doing the different prompts as we walked among the artwork really helped make a connection in how to implement observing and thinking about art in the classroom. Also being able to walk away with so many resources! Everything was above and beyond.

 

Doing an outstanding job as always! Love the bilingual labels [in the exhibition].

Not only did workshop participants enjoy themselves, DMA programs for teachers are accredited by the Texas Education Agency and may be taken for Continuing Professional Education hours, unless otherwise noted. That’s a win-win!

We hope to see you at our next event for educators! In the meantime, be sure to take advantage of DMA Family Day this Sunday, and check out the wonderful exhibitions at the Museum this summer.

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

 

Let’s Get BooksmART!

 

Our literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live just announced the 2017 lineup of award-winning authors and performers, and we are just overflowing with excitement! Arts & Letters is the only literary series that is part of an art museum (that we know of!), and we love celebrating the connections between reading, writing, and art! Every year we host some wonderful children’s authors, and this year is no different. Get cozy with these books while the weather is still chilly, then come see us at the DMA to make some artful literary connections with the whole family!


the-inquisitors-tale-coverAdam Gidwitz
Sunday, February 26, 3:00 p.m.

Adam Gidwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of the Grimm trilogy. He spent six years researching his latest book, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, in which the adventures of three children take them through medieval France to escape prejudice and persecution. They save sacred texts from being burned, get taken captive by knights, face a farting dragon, and face a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel. Learn more.

Before the talk, your family can embark on a scavenger hunt exploring works of art in Art and Nature in the Middle Ages.


thumb-erin_philipsteadErin and Philip C. Stead
Tuesday, April 4, 11:30 a.m.

Erin and Philip Stead live and work side by side creating heartwarming stories such as A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Erin’s forthcoming book Tony returns to themes of friendship and loyalty with the late poet Ed Galing’s tale of a boy and his horse. Philip’s latest, Samson in the Snow, highlights the power of simple acts of kindness to bring hope and light to even the coldest world. Learn more.

Following their talk at 3:30 p.m., join us for an illustration workshop (ages 6 and older) led by Erin and Philip Stead. Advance reservations strongly recommended as space is limited.


playbookKwame Alexander
Saturday, June 10, 2:00 p.m.

New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander kicks off summer reading with his latest book, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. A strategy guide written with middle grade readers in mind but motivational for all ages, The Playbook “rules” contain wisdom from inspiring role models such as Nelson Mandela, Michelle Obama, Lebron James, and more. The author of 21 books, Alexander received the 2015 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor for his book The Crossover. Learn more.


See the entire lineup for the January-June season to see if your favorite author will be coming to town this year. Hope to see you there!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Make This: Printing T-shirts with Inkodye

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I love screen printing–there’s something so satisfying about creating a design and wearing it proudly for everyone to see. I also love learning new printing techniques, so when I ran across a product called Inkodye about a year ago, I knew I had to give it a try. Produced by a company called Lumi, Inkodye is a photosensitive dye that allows you to print an image onto fabric using only a photo negative. When exposed to sunlight, the ink develops and binds permanently with the fibers of the fabric. You can even use Inkodye to create shadow prints!

tumblr_mi2tbcppku1s3h59no1_1280 I’m going to take you through the basic process of creating a print using Inkodye and a photo negative. Keep in mind that while the examples on Lumi’s website look perfect and make it seem easy to do, it will probably take several tries to get it to turn out the way you want.

What You’ll Need:

  • T-shirt to print on
  •  Inkodye
  • Transparency film for copiers (at least two sheets)
  • Copier/printer
  • Computer
  • Foam brush or sponge
  • Two large sheets of cardboard
  • Masking tape (optional)
  • Laundry detergent

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Step 1: Create your design

I wanted to create an example for the teen t-shirt design class and contest that the DMA is offering, so I created a drawing on my iPad that was inspired by a work of art at the Museum:

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Eccentric flint depicting a crocodile canoe with passengers, Pre-Columbian, 600 – 900 A.D., Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Mrs. Alex Spence

flint1I then manipulated the image using Microsoft Word, but any basic editing program would do–even better, Photoshop, if you have it:

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Leaving my image as above will create a reverse, or negative print on my shirt–the white space around the faces will be black and the faces themselves will be white. If you want to make a positive-image print, you’ll have to create a negative of your design (Photoshop allows you to do this, or you can use Lumi’s handy app to make one):

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Step 2: Print two copies of your image on transparency film

Lumi says that it’s important to use two copies so that they can be stacked on top of each other during the printing process. This will make the dark areas of your image block out more light, increasing the contrast of your print and giving you a better end product.

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3. Prep your t-shirt for printing

Insert one of your sheets of cardboard into your shirt to prevent the ink from soaking through. The cardboard should be big enough that it stretches the fabric of your t-shirt and gives you a good printing surface. Choose the area of your shirt where your image will be printed. If you want, you can mask the area off with tape to give your design a clean edge.

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4. Spread the Inkodye onto your shirt

This is one of the trickiest steps. Flip off the lights for this–since Inkodye is photosensitive, you don’t want it to start developing yet. Working in the darkened room (but with enough light to see what you’re doing!),  cover the printing area with a thin, even layer of dye–don’t get it too wet! Use your sponge or brush to blot the fabric. Cover your t-shirt with the second sheet of cardboard and take it and your design outside!

5. Print your shirt

Find a nice sunny spot to lay your t-shirt down. Uncover it and position your transparencies on top of the printing area. Leave everything undisturbed for the sunlight to do its magic. In about 10-15 minutes (depending on how cloudy it is) your print should be developed! When you’re satisfied with how it looks, cover your shirt back up to prevent overexposure and take it back inside.

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This is what my design looks like after 10 minutes in late afternoon sun–as you can see, the edges are starting to fully develop and turn black.

6. Wash

Remove the masking tape from your t-shirt as well as the cardboard insert. Throw the shirt into the wash by itself with a little detergent and run it using a hot cycle. Lumi suggests washing it twice for full color-fastness; washing also removes all excess or undeveloped dye.

7. Wear!

I’d suggest practicing with a scrap piece of fabric before printing on your t-shirt. If your print is a little blotchy, it probably means that the Inkodye wasn’t spread evenly enough. For lots of great project ideas and in-depth tutorials, visit Lumi’s website! And if you have a teen who’s interested in participating in the t-shirt design class or submitting something for the design contest, feel free to email me for more information.

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

Make This: Etching with Cola

Coke Etching

Example of a “coke” etching

Printmaking is one of my favorite mediums. There’s something satisfying and magical about transferring an image you created onto another surface. Plus, there are so many fun and experimental ways to do it that make learning new techniques a joy and not a chore. I especially love finding alternative methods to techniques that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive for the at-home printmaker–namely, intaglio and lithography.

This idea of alternative processes was the basis of April’s Urban Armor workshop for teens. One of the techniques I taught was a version of lithography appropriately dubbed “kitchen lithography” because most of the supplies can be found in your pantry. Popularized by Emilie Aizier, there are lots of tutorials on how to do it on various internet sites. Finding a perfect guide is hard because the process is finicky and everyone does it in a slightly different way. It’s definitely something to experiment with on your own, but I’ll share what gave me the most consistent results.

If you’ve never tried lithography before, it basically consists of creating a master image on a plate (usually metal or stone); in this case, cola is used to etch the image into aluminum foil (it contains phosphoric acid–yum!). Printing from the plate works on the principle that water and oil repel each other: the plate is first coated with water, which doesn’t stick to the etched image because of the gum arabic in the cola. Oil-based ink is then rolled onto the plate, which sticks to the image but is repelled everywhere else by the water.

Several months back, the DMA hosted the wonderful exhibition Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries that not only featured fantastic lithograph posters from the late 1800s, but highlighted many of the tools and steps involved in lithography.

What you need:

  • Small sheet of plexiglas
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Sharpie permanent marker
  • Scrubber pad/steel wool
  • Vegetable oil
  • White vinegar
  • Cola (I used Coke)
  • Sponge and bowl of water
  • Lithography ink (NOT water-based)
  • Latex gloves
  • Printing brayer
  • Printing baren or large spoon
  • Heavy drawing paper
  • Spray bottle
  • LOTS of paper towels

Steps:

Prepare your plate

  • Cut a piece of foil slightly larger than your sheet of plexi. Carefully smooth it down so it’s nice and flat; try to avoid creating any folds or wrinkles.
  • Fold the edges of the foil around the plexiglas and tape them down to the back.
  • Use your sponge to wet the surface of the foil with a little water, then sand it lightly with your scrubber until it’s dull and no longer super shiny.
  • Wipe the surface down with white vinegar to clean off the plate.
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Sharpie image on plate

Draw and etch your image

  • When the surface of your plate is dry, draw an image on it with a Sharpie permanent marker. If you are adding text, remember to write backwards (your print will be a mirror image of your plate).
  • After you’re finished with your drawing, make a cola bath for your plate: fill a shallow pan (big enough to accommodate the plate) with about 1/4″ of soda. Then place your plate in the cola drawing-side down.
  • Let your plate soak in the cola bath for 10 minutes or longer.
  • Remove the plate and rinse it in the sink, gently trying to remove as much of the Sharpie drawing as you can.
  • Dry off your plate, then buff the surface using a small amount of vegetable oil and a paper towel. This should help remove the last bits of marker. Even though you may not be able to “see” your drawing any more, don’t panic!  The cola should have etched it into the foil, creating a “ghost” image.

Ink your plate and print

  • Load your brayer with ink: spread a small amount of ink on a paper plate, then roll it out with your brayer until the entire surface is coated evenly with ink. Set the brayer aside.
  • Set your plate face-up on the counter. Wipe down the entire surface with a wet sponge.
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Inking

  • Roll the brayer across your plate. You should notice the ink start to stick to your ghost drawing. It may take a few passes of alternating between wiping your plate with water and inking it to ink the entire plate.
  • Spray your drawing paper evenly with water and place it on top of your plate. Rub the back of your paper with a baren or the back of a spoon. If you have access to a printing press, that would be ideal.
  • Carefully peel back the paper and leave it to dry.
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Printing

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Printing

Coke Etching 2

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Finished print side-by-side with original plate

As I said earlier, there are many variations on this technique that you can experiment with. People have drawn their image into the foil with grease/litho crayons, touche, even Murphy’s Oil Soap! Each of these options would be fun to try out and should give you different results.

To me, the trickiest part is inking the plate–I ruined the first two that I tried to print during that stage. I found that I didn’t use enough water when I was wetting my plate and the ink ended up sticking to everything instead of just my drawing. The nice thing is that it’s really easy to make a new one–just crumple up the old one and try again!

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

UA Maker Club

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What do you get when you put art and technology together? The UA Maker Club! A mash up between led workshop and open studio, the Maker Club combines traditional art supplies with tech-based materials and asks participants to explore the resulting possibilities. It’s a place for people to experiment, make mistakes, and have fun through tinkering. The Maker Club is also a place where collaboration rules: everyone can share their knowledge and learn from each other–students and staff alike! Because we (the staff) are not experts ourselves, it’s a great opportunity for us all to exchange ideas and gain new skills.

For our very first meet up last Thursday, students explored simple circuits through the use of mini LEDs. Through a series of challenges, teens learned how to light up their LEDs using a variety of conductive materials: copper tape, wire, foil, graphite, and conductive tape. They then had to come up with various ways of making their lights turn on and off by constructing a switch. Finally, they were to create a work of art that incorporated LEDs in some way. We had a great group of teens with a wide range of interests–art, science, even robotics. As you can see, all of the creations were unique and varied:

Take two: Jared made this incredible switch for his LED after shorting out his first one 🙂

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A shot of Pamela’s elaborately constructed diorama–in progress

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A second shot showing her LEDs

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Holy Light-Brite, Batman! Rosa’s fantastic globe

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Preparing to add some twinkling lights to Lugosi’s sculpture

The UA Maker Club meets every month and is open to anyone between the ages of 13-19. No prior experience is necessary and all materials are provided. Drop in to this month’s workshop on November 21 to make glow-in-the-dark clothing and accessories using electroluminescent wire and screen printing ink!

Glow_Stix__Does_a_body_good_by_realdaguru

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

Getting Inside the Teenage Brain

Last month, Shannon and our colleagues at the Nasher Sculpture Center decided to bring together our respective teen groups so they could get to know each other.  The DMA Teen Docents met with the Nasher’s Student Advisory Board for an evening of art-making, food, and conversation.  Our main conversation point centered on things docents should (and shouldn’t) say or do on high school tours.  Our docents often have a hard time connecting with our teenage visitors, so we thought that sharing advice in the teens’ own words would be the first step in helping our docents feel more comfortable with these groups in the galleries.  Some of the comments that resonated with docents were:

  • I really don’t like when docents treat you like children or assume that you don’t know anything and are very momish around students.
  • Make it not just guiding us around like sheep, but know really interesting facts about that artist, the time period, the technique, or that specific work of art.  Like what makes it really cool or unique and why does it deserve to be at the Museum.
  • Show respect towards the artist and be open-minded about the work.
  • Pay attention to your group.  If they’re not engaged or interested, move on so they don’t zone out for the rest of the tour.
  • Make it cool and interactive and not just looking at the works of art.

A group of teens in the DMA’s galleries

Our docents also read an article written by a 15 year-old titled Why Museums Suck.  Howard Hwang visited six museums in Los Angeles and shared his frank opinions about what made each Museum so terrible.  Hwang isn’t shy about voicing his distaste for art museums, labeling them as boring, places for “old people,” and even describing docents as “answering machines.”   His opinions brought a bit of levity to our discussion, but a lot of his comments really did hit home with our docents.  How can we connect with someone who hates old, boring art and is most concerned with what he’ll buy for lunch?

We talked a lot about how we can make make teenagers feel comfortable in the Museum, and we agreed that a tone of mutual respect needs to be set at the very beginning of a tour.  Many docents felt that we need to set up the expectation that the students will be engaged in the tour, but also that they’ll have fun while they’re at the Museum.  One docent mentioned that we need to “pop the bubble of pretention” and remind students that we’re all looking at works of art and learning together.  Docent-guided tours are not intended to be lectures–as Hwang put it, that type of tour “is like being in a locked room with Oprah talking constantly.”  Instead, tours should be conversations with docents and students both contributing to the dialogue and moving the conversation forward.  By helping students feel comfortable and welcome, they’re more likely to want to engage in these discussions.

A DMA Docent discusses American art on a guided tour

Another of Hwang’s directives to museums was decidedly simple: “You have to make it hands-on and interactive.”  At the DMA, the Center For Creative Connections (C3) is answering this call, and cultivating an interactive space where visitors can look, touch, listen, read, make and talk about art.  C3 endeavors to inspire and engage audiences through unique programming, like our Urban Armor workshops.  This distinctive program for tweens and teens offers students a chance to meet, relate, and investigate themselves and the world around them.  Classes are designed in a way that the concept of identity is the heartbeat of each workshop.  Teenagers are at a critical age of self-discovery, so each Urban Armor workshop is designed to promote decision-making, critical thinking skills, and self-determination.

A photograph from the most recent Urban Armor workshop at Klyde Warren Park

This past Sunday, Urban Armor took teens on a photography walk through Klyde Warren Park.  The workshop focused on using positive and negative space in environmental photography, and encouraged students to reflect on the individual choices they make when taking a photograph.  Armed with a camera, each participant explored the Park on their own, with DMA staff acting as facilitators.  This time of autonomous art-making is a central component of each Urban Armor workshop.  The final portion of class was dedicated to discussing what each student had captured during their photo walk.  It was important to encourage the teens to reflect upon and discuss the individual decisions made during each photograph, so that their individual choices could be linked to tangible outcomes.  Each student’s collection of photographs was uploaded to the DMA’s Flickr account, where they are able to view their own and other’s images, and share with the public.  The most exciting outcome of the workshop will come a few weeks from now, as each student enters his or her photographs into the C3 Encountering Space photography exhibition.  Teens have an opportunity to see their artwork publicly displayed in the C3 space!

The Urban Armor participants in Klyde Warren Park

At the DMA, we are working to cultivate spaces and programs that engage teens and involve them in the Museum.  Maybe teens like Howard Hwang would think differently about museums if they could see their artwork hanging on the wall.  We are also continuing to work with our docents to provide tips to better engage with teens on tours.  For now, we’re going to turn the conversation over to you.  If you’re a teacher, what tricks do you use to get teens talking about art?  If you’re a teen, what would you like to see happen at the DMA that might make you want to spend more time here?  We look forward to your responses!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching

Danielle Schulz
McDermott Intern for Family Experiences

Special thanks to Amanda Batson and J.C. Bigornia.


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