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Friday Photos: Imagination Station

December 16, 2016
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Laura Owens, Untitled, 2004, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund © Laura Owens.

The Go van Gogh program brings the Dallas Museum of Art to Pre-K through 6th grade students in schools throughout North Texas free of charge. This week the Go Van Gogh team took one of their programs: Imaginary Worlds, to an after school program at the Salvation Army Pleasant Grove Center. The Students looked closely at works of art and created their own imaginary creatures, with their own worlds, inspired by Laura Owens’ Untitled.

The students really let their creativity and imagination shine and their creations were out of this world!

Go van Gogh is currently preparing for the spring semester of the school year. More information about how your class can enjoy the program can be found here.

Marta Torres
McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement

He(ART) History

December 13, 2016

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My name is Kenzie Grogan, and I am a senior at Lake Highlands High School. This year, I was accepted into the Professional Internship Program at my school. PIP is designed to give seniors experience in the career they are interested in pursuing in college. During my junior year, I ultimately decided that I wanted to focus on art history and see what a degree in it could lead to in the real world. Art has always been an area of interest for me, and history has always been my favorite subject in school. So, I figured why not give art history a try and see if I like it?

My internship began in September and I was extremely nervous. I was shocked when my teacher told me that I was placed with Teen Programs at the DMA – I wasn’t expecting to be placed at a museum. Throughout my internship I got to participate in a variety of programs, from helping paint a canvas for Dallas Pride and assisting with Family Workshops, to helping with Arts and Letters Live and getting to see Cary Elwes.

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Since I worked with Teen Programs, a lot of my time was spent helping prepare for Teen Tours on Thursday nights, and even assisting in writing a few of them. Researching the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck opened my eyes to the incredible symbolism in the painting. It was the first time in my life where I actually wanted to study something more. I ended up teaching part of the Renaissance tour, which was a little intimidating. Let me tell you, the teenagers who go on the Teen Tours know their stuff! It wouldn’t surprise me if some of them could get up and teach the tour themselves.

When I wasn’t working on Teen Tours, my time was spent working on my official research project: an interactive teen guide for the Museum. The DMA has a series of self-guided tours for families and adults, but it lacks one specifically for teens. What better way to make a tour for teens than to have one design it?

Since my internship has been all about art history, I wanted my teen guide to reflect that experience. Narrowing down the art I wanted to use was difficult, but I chose what I felt best represented a broad range: Renaissance, Impressionism, Cubism, American, and Surrealism.

The next step was researching and writing the informational parts that would go into the final tour guide. As I began writing, I saw a universal theme throughout the paintings: each painting represented a new genre that went against the popular art style of the time. Because artists rebelled against society in their own way, I decided to call the guide Rebels With a Cause.

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All of the tours at the Museum have some sort of interactive aspect about them, whether it be prompts for drawing or questions to answer. Since music and art are my favorite things, I decided I wanted to create a playlist that represents each piece in the guide. This way, teens are able to connect with the painting using two senses. For anyone without an electronic device, there are other ways to interact with the art, like taking a selfie with Frida Kahlo or using color swatches to notice new colors in a painting.

Participating in this internship has been the best experience of my high school career. I’ve learned so much in the short amount of time I was here, and I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with so many amazing people. I can now say I plan to study art history in college because I’ve seen first-hand all the different careers it can lead to. I’ve loved getting to come to the Museum, and I definitely plan to come back and volunteer as much as I can.

Be sure to check out Rebels with a Cause at the DMA this spring and check how other teens have left their mark at the Museum!

Kenzie Grogan
Teen Programs Intern

Friday Photos: Message Received

December 9, 2016

Earlier this fall, the Center for Creative Connections installed various communication devices that span several decades of the 20th century. By displaying these works of art together, we encourage visitors to consider the ways that communication has changed over the years and to notice the design ideas that have remained the same.

Recently, we added a writing activity at a nearby table so that visitors would have the opportunity to put down their smartphones and take a moment to hand-write or type a letter. Visitors of all ages have been especially taken by the typewriter. It’s been fun to see the look of joy come over faces of visitors who are sitting down to use a typewriter for the first time, or revisiting an old, familiar experience.

The typed responses we’ve received so far are often cryptic and intriguing like these:

Though my favorite response has been this hand-written jewel by a 9-year-old:

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Stop by the Center for Creative Connections during your next visit to the DMA and take a moment to share your thoughts or write a letter to a friend.

Jessica Fuentes
Manager of Gallery Interpretation and the Center for Creative Connections

Intern Insights | Grace

December 2, 2016

Meet Grace Diepenbrock.

In my new video series, I focus my camera lens on one of the Museum’s nine McDermott Interns. We each do very different things and my goal is to highlight each one of our respective responsibilities and passions.

 
Are you interested in becoming a McDermott Intern for the 2017-2018 year? Applications will be open in January 2017, so visit the Internships page of our website for more information.

Be sure to check back next month for another installment of Intern Insights!

Angela Medrano
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Help Needed: Museum Accessibility Research

December 1, 2016

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We love collaboration here at the DMA, and when it comes to teamwork, Texas Women’s University occupational therapy students are fantastic additions to our team! Since 2010, the DMA has held quarterly-occurring Autism Awareness Family Celebrations for children with autism and their families to enjoy activities in the Museum before it opens to the public. We have been partnering with TWU’s occupational therapy students led by Dr. Tina Fletcher, OTR, EdD, MFA during these events. The students host the TWU Sensory Room during every Autism Awareness Family Celebration by creating a quiet space filled with weighted blankets, tunnels, and resources for families.

One of Dr. Fletcher’s students, Jennifer Burns, is conducting research about the accessibility of museums for children with special needs here in the United States and in other countries. Please see details from Jennifer below about how you can help:
 

Texas Woman’s University is conducting research investigating parent’s perception of museum accessibility for children with special needs. The study is looking at museum accessibility domestically and internationally.

To be able to participate in this study, you must be a parent or guardian of a child with special needs and have visited at least one museum in the United States and/or abroad. The questionnaire will take 30-60 minutes to complete.

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We appreciate your contributions toward museum accessibility research!

Emily Wiskera
Manager of Access Programs

On the Bookshelves: CATchy Tales Edition

November 29, 2016

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This month I’ve been spending a lot of time in Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt with preschoolers. Ancient Egypt is always endlessly fascinating for young children, but add in cats and picture books, and you’ve got a triple threat! I’ve gathered up some purrrfect picture books for any kid cat-lovers—two of the stories take place in ancient Egypt and two are catchy tales you won’t want to miss.

 

Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert, illustrated by Lisa Brown

With a rustle and a whisper, a little mummy cat wakes up deep in a pyramid and goes in search of his mistress and friend, Queen Hat-Shup-Set. As he journeys through the corridors, paintings on the wall tell the tale of his past life and the tragic fate of his Queen. Brown’s illustrations paint a story-within-a-story, and young readers will love pouring over each little detail and will beg to read this book again and again. Look for three little mice hiding on many of the pages and search for hieroglyphs sprinkled throughout the illustrations. An author’s note on mummies, hieroglyphs, and Queen Hat-Shup-Set make this book an excellent introduction to ancient Egypt. And if you visit Divine Felines, you can see an authentic cat sarcophagus!

 

Temple Cat by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Kate Kiesler

A cat lives like a king in the temple, with servants to care for his every need, but all he dreams of is a life beyond the temple walls. So one night, he quietly slips out and embarks on an adventure, sleeping in barns, catching his own food, and making friends with some children. Along the way, he discovers his greatest dream—to be loved as an ordinary cat. Cat-lovers will especially love how Kiesler captures the very “cat-ness” of our hero as he licks his paws, revels in chin tickles, or weaves around a child’s leg. The background illustrations however, are just as beautiful, painting a vivid picture of what ancient Egyptian life might have been like.

 

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

“The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws…” With this lyrical beginning, Wenzel takes readers on a journey of perspective, imagining different encounters between a cat and its surroundings. With each page turn, we see the cat from a different point of view. A child sees a cuddly, friendly companion. A dog and fox see something to chase. A fish and a mouse see a huge, scary creature to be avoided at all costs! A flea sees a warm place to take a nap. The text itself is incredibly simple, but the illustrations take on a life of their own, challenging young readers to consider how one animal (or by extension, person) can be so many different things. And for art-loving kids, the way Wenzel changes his style to fit each creature’s perspective is truly magical. They All Saw a Cat is already getting some buzz for the coming picture book awards season!

 

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Mr. Tiger is tired of his prim and proper life, and decides something needs to change. HE needs to change! And so he goes “wild.” But does he go just a little too far? I’ve written about this book before here, and it still continues to be a go-to favorite for story time. One page turn in particular ALWAYS elicits shrieks of laughter and gasps, and I can’t help but love it when the children roar right along with Mr. Tiger.

 

What’s your favorite meow-sterpiece in cat picture books? Please share in the comments below!

And as always—happy reading!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs

Patrick Faulhaber: Homage to a Beloved Dallas Artist

November 22, 2016

A few months ago, when I first saw images of Patrick Faulhaber’s paintings, it was hard to believe they weren’t actually photographs. His paintings capture a unique view of Dallas street life, imbuing what might be seen as common and everyday with a sense of magic.

Sadly, in May this year, Patrick Faulhaber passed away at the age of 70. Faulhaber first debuted his small canvas paintings at the DMA’s Concentrations 31 exhibition in 1998, and we’ve recently put them on view again in our Center for Creative Connections. In an interview with former Museum curator Charles Wylie, Faulhaber shared a wonderful thought about the close link in his work between painting and photography:

Photography is fast and gathers and immense amount of information in a fraction of a second; painting is studying all that information and adding all your emotions and understanding.

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This quote resonated with us so much, we knew we had to create a gallery activity in the Center for Creative Connections that reflects his concepts and commemorates his life’s work. The photo-realistic paintings didn’t just happen overnight; he worked tirelessly to perfect all the information gathered from over twenty photos shot of each scene. We found a way to simplify this for our visitors: bring in light boxes, paper, colored pencils, and snapshots of scenes that are uniquely Dallas, and leave the creativity to you.

In just a few weeks, I’ve collected a wide variety of drawings that visitors have left behind. Here are a few of my favorite themes discovered among them. Of course, we have to start with the detailed drawings…

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We also loved our visitors’ personal add-ins to the photographs…

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And we can’t leave out the abstracted drawings…

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How detailed can you be when recreating a photograph? Stop by the Center for Creative Connections and put your own skills to the test!

Kerry Butcher
Center for Creative Connections Coordinator

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