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The Student Becomes the Master

August 8, 2017

Summer art camp interns play many roles during their time at the DMA: teaching assistant, museum navigator, problem solver, carpool coordinator, bathroom trip taker, funny face maker, and–most importantly–friend to all campers! This year, we added three exciting new roles to their list: researcher, lesson writer, and teacher. For the first time, in teams and under the supervision of DMA staff, our 2017 summer art camp interns researched, wrote, and taught their very own summer camps.

These interns had six weeks to plan their camps, collecting ideas and teaching tricks from other camps and teachers they worked with along the way. We provided them with basic themes to start from, but from that point on their camps were entirely their own, from the works of art they focused on to the projects they made in the studio. They taught techniques, guided campers in looking and talking about art, and–like every good teacher–improvised when things didn’t go according to plan.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce our two teaching teams: Team Sense-sational Art and Team Portrait Party!

Team Sense-sational Art: Sharidyn Barnes, Jenna Buckley, and Mary Judge

Team Sense-sational Art was tasked with planning a camp all about art and the five senses for a group of children ages 6-8. They divided and conquered, each taking on one or two senses and planning a day around it. Sharidyn found she had a knack for getting into the why and how of art-making, Jenna dazzled with her knowledge of art history and fun facts about the collection, and Mary ignited campers’ imaginations with dramatic storytelling and gallery exploration.

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Team Portrait Party: Madeline Bumpass and Paige Alexander

Team Portrait Party planned a camp focused on portraits throughout the ages, from Roman busts to modern-day selfies, for a group of girls ages 9-12. Madeline and Paige worked together on each of the days, taking turns leading conversations in the galleries and getting elbows-deep in clay, paint, and fabric in the studio. It was a week of singing (lots of Disney and Taylor Swift), masterpiece-making, joke-cracking, and serious fun.

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Now that their camps are done and their internships have concluded, Jenna, Mary, Sharidyn, Madeline, and Paige are wrapping up their summer vacations, heading back to another year at college, and who knows – maybe one or two are on their way to a career in museum education! Congratulations on a job well done, ladies!

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Jennifer Sheppard
Teaching Specialist

Friday Photos: Sands of Time

August 4, 2017

Some old friends are back on view in our Barrel Vault galleries this month. Stop by the Museum to savor those last few days of summer: you might just enjoy a sandy view sans the salt and heat!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

Unexpected Internship

August 1, 2017

Hey everyone! My name is Grecia Soto and I’m a summer intern at the Dallas Museum of Art through the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program. I had been certain that I would not have the opportunity I had been hoping for this summer. However, one fateful summer morning, I was contacted and informed of a possible internship for me, which I quickly accepted. Against all odds, I arrived at a place that I had never imagined working at: the DMA.

Grecia Soto

2017 Mayor’s Intern Fellow Grecia Soto

As part of the Education department, I assist with the Go van Gogh program. This summer’s theme was Guardians from Around the World. Children got to learn and talk about guardians from many cultures in the Museum’s artwork as well as guardians in their everyday life. Seeing the kids’ faces light up when they learned who Wonder Woman was inspired by was a definite highlight.

Besides getting to work on Go van Gogh, I got to assist with many other programs here at the DMA, including summer art camps for kids ranging from 4 to 8 years old. I must say working with small kids that I did not know at all was a little intimidating at first, but thanks to the advice and support from the camp teachers, I quickly adjusted. There is something special about a little kid wanting to share everything about their art with you even though they just met you 30 minutes before. I also got to shadow programs like Meaningful Moments, an access program for individuals with early stage dementia or Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

This summer's Food on the Move and Go Van Gogh collaboration.

I also got to attend professional meetings, and even gave a short presentation at one of them. Talking and sharing what I had learned to a room full of experienced adults was slightly terrifying, but I was up for the challenge, and I thank my supervisor Amy Copeland for having given me that opportunity. At meetings like these I found a deeper appreciation for those who work in this field.

Right now I’m standing at the crossroads for a tomorrow that I can’t begin to imagine, but this job has been a window into one of many possible futures for me. During my short stay at the DMA, I learned and experienced much more than I could have ever imagined. I have made many memories both professional and personal. Everyone I encountered here has shown so much passion for what they do and have inspired me to find what I am most passionate about as well.

The DMA was not expecting me, and I was not expecting them; nonetheless, they welcomed me with open arms and for that I am forever grateful.

Grecia Soto
2017 Mayor’s Intern Fellow

D2R 2.0

July 25, 2017
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Disconnect to Reconnect’s open-mic poetry slam.

Last Thursday, our Teen Advisory Council took over the Museum for their second Disconnect to Reconnect night for teenagers. Seeking ways to make the DMA more accessible and fun for their peers, Council members created Disconnect to Reconnect to encourage visitors to put away their cell phones and engage with the art and each other.

For this iteration of D2R, the Council wanted to highlight local teens, inviting musicians, filmmakers, thespians, and writers to shape the event with their talents and interests. Musical acts R.A.G. and Aloe Sara provided a soundtrack for the evening and a rotation of student films screened in C3 Theater, while C3 Visiting Artist Lisa Huffaker led a zine-making workshop related to her work on display at the Museum. The Council presented an escape room-style mystery in the Reves Collection, and hosted an open-mic poetry slam in the Museum’s Barrel Vault galleries. Teen Ambassadors were also there to lend a hand, making this Disconnect to Reconnect a true team effort.

I caught up with a few Teen Advisory Council Members, as well as a few assisting Teen Ambassadors, at a planning meeting before the big day to ask them about their goals and the planning process.

Q: What activity has been the most fun or challenging to plan?

“The Reves Murder Mystery was probably the most intense activity to plan.” Emma, Teen Advisory Council

“There were so many things that went into it. We had to research the history of the Reves collection, come up with a story, and find actors.” Claire, Teen Advisory Council

“I think that the process of constructing some kind of murder mystery-type scenario is a lot more involved than you might think, just because you want to know how the crowd will respond and a lot of thinking goes into it. But I think it will be really rewarding!” Anastasia, Teen Advisory Council

Q: Why do you think it’s important to have programs like this for teens at a museum?

“Going to art museums is seen as an old person thing to do, but if there are programs for teens, it shows young people that there are things for them to do here too.” Shirui, Teen Advisory Council

“I think that teens are just as interested as older people, they just don’t know the museum is an option for them to be interested in going to, so if we have programs specifically for teens, it makes it a better place to be.” Anastasia, Teen Advisory Council

“I feel like teens aren’t given a platform to express themselves in a way that’s official or endorsed, so usually teens have to start from scratch and overcome a lot of challenges if they find a place where they can. It’s really nice to have a place that wants to hear what you have to say and a place for you to say it, and share that with others.” Claire, Teen Advisory Council

“It’s also a place for different kinds of people to be united under one umbrella and become a community, and meet people with different experiences than you.” Wolfgang, Teen Ambassador

Q: What do you hope visitors take away from Disconnect to Reconnect?

“I hope it inspires them to share their life and experiences more – maybe sharing it more with people, face-to-face, instead of just on social media.” Claire, Teen Advisory Council

“I hope that people leave knowing that the DMA is for anyone and everyone, with any interest – it’s not just about art! We have a lot to offer.” Tori, Teen Ambassador

“I hope they take away some sort of connection and know that there are things for them here at the Museum. Museums are not some sort of elitist, high-society places, and we do have programs and activities for all ages. There’s a spot and a place here for them.” Arik, Teen Ambassador

After six months of planning, Disconnect to Reconnect went off without a hitch. Over 250 teens participated throughout the night! We’re very proud of the Teen Advisory Council, and look forward to what they will bring to the Museum next.

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen Programs

Museum Forum for Teachers 2017

July 21, 2017

The art education-extravaganza that is Museum Forum for Teachers holds the distinction of being one of my favorite weeks of the summer. Each year, The WarehouseNasher Sculpture CenterModern Art Museum of Fort WorthKimbell Art Museum, and the Dallas Museum of Art work together to coordinate a week-long workshop dedicated to helping classroom teachers deepen their understanding of modern and contemporary art and develop strategies to teach, interpret, and use works of art in the classroom and in museum galleries. Best of all, each institution hosts one day of the week giving participants and fellow museum educators the opportunity to explore a variety of special exhibitions, collections, and experience different teaching styles. It’s well worth braving traffic across the Metroplex to experience the richness of DFW’s museum community!

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Discussing Doug Aitken: Electric Earth at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

This year, twenty-three educators embarked on a week of museum experiences, gallery discussions, and studio projects for CPE credit. Not every educator who participated has a background studying art, and the variety of perspectives enriched the quality of our discussions. In the spirit of highlighting different approaches, the museum educators brought back the “Educator Exchange” from last year and each led a session at one of the other institutions. I always find that I come away from the week inspired and energized for the upcoming school year. Check out some of our highlights from this year:

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And what do our participants have to say about their experience at Museum Forum for Teachers?

This week has felt like a vacation. It’s as though I have been on guided tours on location by Rick Steves every day. I’d love to attend next year…Well planned. Well done.

This was my favorite year so far…I don’t know how all of you manage every year to make this event a week of so much learning and fun. I can’t wait to get to each museum each day. Absolutely my favorite thing I do all year! Thank you!

This was my first year and I hope to be back! Art camp for teachers is how I will explain it when I am asked about the highlight of my summer.

I feel inspired, charged up again, and optimistic about the new ideas I’ll bring to my students. Thanks!

Once again, this Forum has completely exceeded my expectations. The content was rich, insightful, and relative, the projects were fun and accessible, and everyone on staff is an absolute joy to work with. This Forum is not only the cornerstone of my upperclassman content, but a week for me to reconnect with art and truly be myself. Thank you all so much for what you do!

Sign up to receive our emails and check the box for Information for Teachers, so you can stay connected to exciting professional development opportunities here at the DMA and join us for Museum Forum for Teachers next year!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Our Harp’s Delight

July 18, 2017

July’s Meaningful Moments program was all about music as participants explored The Harp Lesson by Jean Antoine Théodore Giroust. While closely examining the 18th century French painting, participants shared their memories related to learning to play a musical instrument.

We were joined in the galleries by harpist Cindy Horstman, who shared her own experiences of learning the harp in college and becoming a professional musician. Cindy brought The Harp Lesson to life as she plucked away at her harp, filling the gallery with music.

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Cindy began by playing “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Johann Sebastian Bach, a piece of music that was popular during the time The Harp Lesson was painted. She also wowed us with a wide-ranging assortment of music including “Norwegian Wood” by the Beatles and “Summertime” by George Gershwin, all played from memory!

At the end of the program, participants were already asking when Cindy could return again.

Emily Wiskera
Manager of Access Programs

Food on the Move + Go van Gogh: A Meeting of the Vans!

July 14, 2017

This week Go van Gogh staff, volunteers, and summer interns packed up the Go van Gogh van and spent a few days with our friends from Food on the Move. Food on the Move is a mobile meal program delivering free breakfasts and lunches to non-traditional sites like apartment complexes across the Metroplex. CitySquare’s AmeriCorps members pull out blankets and tables at each site, setup activities and games, and pass out meals from the back of their great big van.

To this already rich program, we brought art activities developed by this year’s Mayor’s Intern Fellow, Grecia Soto. Inspired by objects in our Ancient American collection, Grecia developed an activity that had us making miniature sculptures out of Model Magic clay.

Imagine our surprise when we heard an old friend was sporting new wheels! Last summer, our Mayor’s Intern Fellow Joshua Berry-Jones developed our project for the then brand new CitySquare partnership. This summer, Josh has switched flashy outreach vehicles, and is an Americorps member working for CitySquare on Food on the Move!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

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