The Starting Line

Annette Lawrence, "Coin Toss," 2009, stranded cable, The Art Program at Cowboys Stadium

Try to imagine the longest line of paper conceivable. Now think about how much time it would take to create it. How many people would participate? What would this mass of paper look like? Well, the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections teamed up with Big New Field artist and Community Partner Annette Lawrence this month to start the longest paper line possible.

In the Art Studio earlier this month, Museum visitors crowded around the tables using long rolls of white butcher paper, 4-foot rulers, and double-sided tape to create their own addition to Lawrence’s continuous line. Sounds of paper ripping and scissors cutting echoed throughout the Center as the lines our visitors made snowballed to the ground before they rolled them up onto giant spools. Couples worked together to merge their own lines into one and siblings helped each other meld their contributions to the larger spool. The line continued to grow and grow like a living being.

Every six months the Center for Creative Connections invites a Community Partner to creatively respond to the Center’s current exhibition. Our newest partner, Annette Lawrence, came up with the idea to allow visitors to be an active part of the project. Through a series of workshops now through next September, Museum visitors can contribute to a collective paper line by tearing and taping pieces of white butcher paper together. Center staff will collect and store the paper on large spools until Lawrence installs the line in the Center next fall. Once installed, those visitors who contributed to the line will be invited to come view the final work.

Imagine the metamorphosis of two-dimensional pieces of paper into a three-dimensional sculptural form. Visitors were excited to think about how the artist will install the line in the Center,  thinking it might be a never-ending maze of white strips hanging from the ceiling and covering the walls or imagining it as a huge ball of yarn. For now we have to wait for the end result, but until then the line will continue to evolve.

Annette Lawrence, "Free Paper 12 / 05," 2006–08, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund, 2008.100.a–e, © Annette Lawrence

The Center for Creative Connections has previously worked with the following Community Partners: the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA); Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design, New Media; textile artist Lesli Robertson (UNT), and, currently, the Center for Creative Computation, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.

Annette Lawrence will participate in the DMA’s “State of the Arts” series, a conversation about the arts and the cultural landscape of the Metroplex, on Thursday, January 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Hadly Clark is the Center for Creative Connections Coordinator for the Dallas Museum of Art

1 Response to “The Starting Line”



  1. 1 Friday Morning Roundup | Art&Seek | Arts, Music, Culture for North Texas Trackback on December 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm
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