Skip to content

Marvelous Melissa

January 8, 2016

It's hard to resist the urge to push the balloons away.

Today we are bidding farewell to our dear friend Melissa Gonzales, who’s been at the DMA for almost 15 years. Her passion for education, her sincerity, and her confident nature are qualities that have helped make our Education Department stronger, and we’ll miss her wisdom, sparkle, positivity, extreme organization, drive, and creativity!

We know she has a lot of memories here, so we wanted to let her share just a few:

  • I’m most proud of….the relationships I’ve developed through my work with students, artists, colleagues, and community partners. These relationships grew out of projects that took a lot of time and work and were some of my most fulfilling professional experiences. Many of these professional relationships have grown into lasting personal friendships.
  • I’ll never forget…meeting Mark Bradford!  I’m a huge admirer of his work and I *might* have a teeny crush on him. While in town for the installation of his 2011 eponymous exhibition, Bradford participated in State of the Arts, a conversation with South Dallas Cultural Center Manager (and community partner and friend) Vicki Meek, moderated by Jeff Whittington. To my complete surprise, near the end of the conversation, Vicki paid me a generous compliment about a project I led with students at the South Dallas Cultural Center inspired by Bradford’s work. The next day, I was able to shake Bradford’s hand while shyly introducing myself as the person that Vicki had mentioned the night before. Bradford smiled kindly and said, “I know who you are.”

Mark Bradford with DMA Educators

  • Favorite gallery/art-making activity: We developed a Go van Gogh classroom outreach program called Creative Connections: Lights, Camera, Action! in conjunction with All the World’s a Stage: Celebrating Performance in the Visual Arts, an exhibition that commemorated the opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. In the spirit of making interdisciplinary connections, students divided into groups to write stories, compose original music and dance movements, create imaginative characters, and act out original skits inspired by works of art. I warned teachers beforehand that the classroom would become noisy once the students got to work brainstorming, inventing, and rehearsing. I absolutely loved the creative energy that you could hear and feel during that program, which culminated in clever and earnest student performances.
  • What’s something about your time at the DMA no one knows…I visited the Phil Collins: the world won’t listen exhibition almost every day that it was open. The three-part video installation showed everyday people from Colombia, Turkey, and Indonesia singing songs by The Smiths.  I am an enormous Smiths fan and I loved watching other fans pour out their hearts as they sang.  I watched the entire cycle of videos (about 45 minutes) on the last day and had to make myself leave.
  • I’ll most miss…my colleagues at the DMA: talented, smart, and fun people who work hard and are passionate about what they do.

Melissa, we’re all going to miss you, too!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: