Of Jewelry and Jazz

On Friday night we celebrated the exhibition From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith with a night of performances, talks, art making, and more inspired by Art Smith during the busiest August Late Night we’ve ever had, with more than 5,500 visitors! The Dallas Black Dance Theatre, along with the Stockton Helbing Trio, performed a premiere of a new work to a full house in a piece inspired by the jewelry of Art Smith. Visitors lined up throughout the evening to create their own jewelry in the Center for Creative Connections, there were plenty of human pretzels in Yoga for Kids, and the Atrium was alive all night with music from Mahogany the Artist, Rebel Alliance Jazz Ensemble, and The Funky Knuckles.

If you missed Friday night’s fun, you can still celebrate Art Smith throughout August (all for free!); check out the events online, including Thursday’s Jazz in the Atrium with Mahogany the Artist.

ARTifacts: A Trip to the Moon and Beyond

From 1953 to 1956, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts had something few other art museums did . . . a planetarium.

Planetarium equipment, circa 1953 [The Jerry Bywaters Collection, Southern Methodist University]

Planetarium equipment, circa 1953 [The Jerry Bywaters Collection, Southern Methodist University]

The planetarium’s first show, “A Trip to the Moon,” was held during the 1953 State Fair. The Model A-1 Spitz planetarium, with 24-foot dome, would go on to enthrall thousands of visitors—over 10,000 in the first six months—with shows such as “Star of Bethlehem,” “Skies over Dallas,” “Reasons for the Seasons,” “The Sun and Its Family,” “Seven Wonders of the Universe,” and “The Greatest Show Off Earth.”

Shows were scheduled for the public on weekends and for groups during the week, for the low price of 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children and students. The State Fair was the most popular time for the planetarium, entertaining 4,000 people over 69 shows in 1954 and 5,665 people over 80 shows in 1955.

In early 1956, the planetarium was transferred to the Health Museum, which was later called the Science Place and is now closed.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

 

A Very Big Outdoor Art Show

This week Art Everywhere US launched onto billboards, bus stops, digital screens, and more across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Keep your eyes peeled while road tripping and commuting for some of your DMA favorites, including The Icebergs and The Peaceable Kingdom, when you are out on the town. Check out some photos from across the country below and share your finds on Instagram with #ArtEverywhereUS. If you are ready for an art hunt, discover the locations on the Art Everywhere US interactive map.

Art, Camera, Selfie!

We love seeing the creative photos that our visitors take with our collection, so we’re turning the spotlight on you. This summer, feel free to explore, and share your fun with us!

Now through Labor Day, visitors who submit their creative DMA photos will receive a chance to win a private tour of the DMA with curator Olivier Meslay, and everyone who participates receives a free ticket to Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne.

Enter your own DMA snapshot here and enjoy some of the great photos that we’ve already received – even Chef Stephan Pyles got in on the action!

 


Anthea Halsey is the Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager at the DMA

Jazz and Jewelry: Celebrating Art Smith in August

In June, the DMA opened the beautiful exhibition From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith, featuring 26 dynamic pieces of silver and gold jewelry created by artist Art Smith. 

 

 

To celebrate this show, we are making August the month of all things Art Smith. You can explore the show with a metalsmith during a  Gallery Talk; stop by the Center for Creative Connections to look at Smith’s tools; listen to the jazz that inspired Smith, every Thursday evening during Jazz in the Atrium; or, if you’re a teen, sign up for the Urban Armor Maker Club to create a programmable piece of jewelry. Be sure to check out the full schedule of events for more information.

 

Jazz in the Atrium

 

In addition to being one of the leading modernist jewelers of the mid-20th century, Smith was an avid jazz enthusiast and a supporter of early black modern dance groups. This inspired us to commission a new dance from our Arts District Neighbors, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, accompanied by a new jazz suite composed by jazz drummer Stockton Helbing.

 

 

First, we met with Nycole Ray, Artistic Director for Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, and Stockton to discuss the format of the piece—how long would the entire piece be, how many dances would comprise the whole performance, does there need to be transition music between the dances, what tempo would be best for each dance, what style of jazz would fit the feel of the piece, and more. We also agreed that a jazz trio would be best so the band and the dancers could all fit on stage together during the live performance.

 

Once those questions were answered, Stockton began composing an original piece of music he titled On 4th Street, after the location of Art Smith’s studio in New York. Stockton created MIDI demos of his music for Nycole to review before he went into the studio to make the final recording with other musicians.

 

We now have the final masters of the music, and Nycole has begun choreographing the dances and working with the dancers on the piece she titled Art on 4th Street.

 

Dallas Black Dance Theatre II

This dance will have its world premiere during the Friday, August 15 Late Night. In addition to Art on 4th Street, this evening will feature live jazz, jewelry making, a film screening of Paris Blues, tours, and more—all inspired by Art Smith!

 

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.

 

 

Installing Slavs and Tatars

Concentrations 57: Slavs and Tatars opened two weeks ago at the DMA. Part of the DMA’s ongoing Concentrations series, which began more than 30 years ago, the exhibition features new work from the art collective Slavs and Tatars, including the first-ever full presentation of their Love Letters carpet series. See how the installation came together below, and then visit the free exhibition in person through December 14.
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#DMAVacation

Nic Nicosia, Vacation, 1986, cibachrome photograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Meisel Photochrome Corporation © 1986 Nic Nicosia, Dallas, Texas

Nic Nicosia, Vacation, 1986, cibachrome photograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Meisel Photochrome Corporation, © 1986 Nic Nicosia, Dallas, Texas

Earlier this month, the large photograph Vacation by Nic Nicosia was installed in the Center for Creative Connections (C3). Vacation is one of seven photographs that comprise Nic Nicosia’s Life As We Know It series. In this series depicting contemporary American life, Nicosia plays with everyday topics such as fashion, youth, and violence. Through his use of fabricated environments and staged scenes, Nicosia blurs the line between illusion and reality. This surreal atmosphere is enhanced by the ironic twists, such as the burning plane in the background, on what would otherwise be ordinary situations.

Inspired by this work of art, the C3 team created a photo station where visitors can pose for their own staged picnic-themed photograph. Some have embraced the surreal nature of Nicosia’s work more than others. Check out our visitors’ photographs and stop by C3 to snap a photo of your DMA vacation.

Jessica Fuentes is the C3 Gallery Coordinator


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