Archive for the 'Center for Creative Connections' Category

What’s in a Name?

Last week, Hard Pressed (Any Port in a Storm/Late for School) by Arthur John Elsley was installed in the Center for Creative Connections (C3). If the title seems like a mouthful, it’s because it is actually three titles. This painting, completed in 1898, appeared in two magazines, Illustrated London News and Pears Annual, under the aliases Late for School and Any Port in a Storm, respectively. When I think of works of art appearing in magazines today, I assume they would appear under the original title. So, in this case, why the name change? In researching this work of art, we found a digital copy of the 1899 Illustrated London News edition in which Hard Pressed appeared, and we noticed some small differences between the painting in our collection and the image that appeared in the magazine. Perhaps these small differences warranted a title change. What differences can you find in the two images?

Images (left to right): Arthur John Elsley, Hard Pressed (Any Port in a Storm/Late for School), 1898, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Kim Jordan; "Late for School." Illustrated London News [London, England] [27 Nov. 1899]: n.p. Illustrated London News. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.

Images (left to right): Arthur John Elsley, Hard Pressed (Any Port in a Storm/Late for School), 1898, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Kim Jordan; “Late for School.” Illustrated London News [London, England] [27 November 1899]: n.p. Illustrated London News. Web. 24 September 2014. Gale Digital Collections

In the Center for Creative Connections, we focus on learning by doing. In planning for this installation, we designed an activity to build on this painting’s history of multiple titles. We are posing a simple question to our visitors. “What would you title this painting if you could rename it?”

Peruse these title suggestions from the Education team.

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Stop by to view this newly installed painting and participate in the renaming activity.

Jessica Fuentes is the Center for Creative Connections Gallery Coordinator at the DMA.

ARTifacts: Gateway to the DMA

When the DMA moved downtown, the new museum included a dedicated education space called the Gateway Gallery. The gallery was named Gateway Gallery to indicate that it was to be a gateway to understanding art and the Museum’s collection.

Director Harry S. Parker III with children in the Gateway Gallery, 1984 [Photographer: Tim Mickelson]

Director Harry S. Parker III with children in the Gateway Gallery, 1984 [Photographer: Tim Mickelson]

The first installation for the Gateway Gallery in January 1984, designed by Paul Rogers Harris, allowed visitors to explore the basic elements of art and discover how artists use those elements to create artworks.

"The Gateway Gallery Guide to The Elements of Art" brochure cover

“The Gateway Gallery Guide to The Elements of Art” brochure cover

There were activities to discover line, form, and color. Also texture:

Child exploring texture through sample materials in the Gateway Gallery, 1984

Child exploring texture through sample materials in the Gateway Gallery, 1984

And perspective:

Children explore a mirrored Room of Infinity to understand perspective [Dallas Morning News]

Children explore a mirrored Room of Infinity to understand perspective [Dallas Morning News]

The Gateway Gallery had many different installations, held special exhibitions, and put on an uncountable number of programs for a variety of audiences, a Museum tradition maintained by the Center for Creative Connections.

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

Fall Transition

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Transition in the Center for Creative Connections is always a bittersweet time. While we’re excited by the infusion of new art in our gallery because it brings new experiences for our visitors, this week we had to say good-bye to some favorites:  The Visitors by Jacob Lawrence, Frank Smith watering his horse, Cross-B Ranch, Crosby County, Texas by Erwin Smith, and Soul Three by Romare Bearden. Now we’re welcoming Ram Mask with Feather Cape by the Kom people in Cameroon, two films by Isa Genzken, and The Mother Load Project, an interactive installation by local artists Lesli Robertson and Natalie Macellaio. Here’s a little more about our newest installations:

Helmet mask with feather costume, Kom peoples, North West Province, Cameroon, Africa, Early to mid-20th century, wood, fibers, and feathers, Dallas Museum of Art, African Collection Fund

Helmet mask with feather costume, Cameroon, North West Province, Kom peoples, early to mid-20th century, wood, fibers, and feathers, Dallas Museum of Art, African Collection Fund

This mask depicts a ram, an animal that is sacrificed in religious rituals. While the face of the animal is carved naturalistically, the horns are designed as two stylized spherical knobs composed of concentric rings. When the mask is worn, it fits snugly on top of the dancer’s head and the dancer’s face is concealed under a fitted hood. The dancer also wears a costume of chicken feathers. masks_of_mbuoshu_book_scan_descreenWhile we are interested in visitors being able to explore the sensory elements of this piece, including the texture of the materials, the weight of the mask, the sounds of a masquerade, and the sight of the feathers in motion, this month we will focus activities in the C3 on mask making. If you were to create a mask symbolic of yourself or an event in your life, what animal would you choose as a symbol, and why?

Additional works from our African collection have recently been installed in the African Galleries on Level 3, including the new acquisition of a sword ornament in the form of a spider.

genzken-chicagodrive
In conjunction with the current exhibition Isa Genzken: Retrospective, on view through January 4, 2015, the Center for Creative Connections is showing two films by Genzken in the C3 Theater. On weekdays you can see Chicago Drive, a 16mm film made in 1992 while Genzken was in Chicago preparing for her Renaissance Society exhibition. It reveals her fascination with local architecture, both the famous and the mundane, and also includes intermittent blues music on the soundtrack. On the weekends, My Grandparents in the Bavarian Forest will be on view. This 63-minute film has English subtitles and is a personal account of Genzken’s grandparents’ home in southern Germany. Through the recording of seemingly banal conversations and her grandparents’ quotidian rituals, Genzken draws a moving portrait of the complexity of family dynamics, and the difficulty of coming to terms with the survivors of the World War II generation.

DSC_0092
This week artists Lesli Robertson and Natalie Macellaio have been on hand in the Center for Creative Connections installing The Mother Load project, an interactive work that hopes to start a dialogue with visitors about the balance of nurturing in one’s life. The collaborative project began as a way to engage with women who lead the creative life of an artist while also being a mother. Through the project, Robertson and Macellaio are collecting fingerprints from artists and their children, recording experiences through written word and audio interviews, and documenting the ongoing project through their interactive website (themotherload.org). In the interactive component of the installation, visitors are asked to respond to this question: “In your life right now, what are you nurturing, and why?” Look for an upcoming post where we interview Robertson and Macellaio about The Mother Load.

Jessica Fuentes is the C3 Gallery Coordinator at the DMA.

#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

Free Summer Fun

Summer has officially arrived at the DMA! Today we began our Summer Art Camps and launched our free summer activities. Throughout June and July, we’re offering new opportunities for fun in the Museum every day of the week, on top of our year-round free general admission. Families can catch a tall tale in the DMA galleries on Tuesdays or join a family tour every Thursday. And visitors can learn more about the DMA’s collection and exhibitions during lunchtime gallery talks every Wednesday. There are many ways to experience the DMA for free, including our upcoming Late Night on Friday, June 20, and the Dallas Arts District block party! Find out about all of this and more summer fun at DMA.org.

How Many Words Are There for “Light”

How many words can you think of that describe light? Your list can include characteristics, opposite words, and metaphors for the concept of light.

A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on its Leaves, c. 1900, watercolor on paper, The James and Ana Melikian Collection

A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on its Leaves, c. 1900, watercolor on paper, The James and Ana Melikian Collection

The exhibition Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World explores the concept of light and the many ways it is captured, studied, and featured in works of art and scientific objects from Islamic culture (nur is the Arabic word for “light”). A work of art from the exhibition titled A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on Its Leaves is currently on view in the Center for Creative Connections (C3). This painting illustrates the concept that there can be many meanings associated with a single idea. Similarly, visitors are invited to add their ideas to a growing collection of light-related words in the accompanying community installation.

Leave your ideas on what light is through the run of the exhibition, which closes on June 29.

Melissa Nelson Gonzales is the C3 Gallery Manager at the DMA.

Having a Ball During DMA Spring Break

What do March Madness and the DMA have in common? If you are thinking that both are in Dallas, you are correct! This year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and Championship games will be played right here in North Texas. But wait, there is SO much more! Here at the DMA we are celebrating Art Madness, our own version of the beloved tournament. DMA Friends picked an artsy Sweet Sixteen that you don’t need a ticket to enjoy, and we are now down to the Elite Eight. Works of art from the Museum’s collection are competing for your vote to determine which artwork is the ultimate champion. If you haven’t voted yet, it’s not too late to get in on the game.

Since basketball is on the brain here, it seemed only fitting that we spend our spring break elevating our game, and we’ve planned an action-packed week of Art Madness family fun for everyone! Enjoy story time in the galleries, family tours, art-making in the studio, family competitions and more all week long in our art and basketball mash-up. We will even have a real piece of the NCAA here at the Museum! Be sure to score a look at the NCAA Championship trophy in the Center for Creative Connections, on view March 11-16.

Can’t get enough of the Madness? Then take an overtime for fun and join us for a Family Block Party on March 14, when we’ll stay open until 9:00 p.m. Families can sketch in the galleries, take a tour of the Art Madness competitors, do some yoga in the galleries, enjoy a puppet show, design trading cards in the studio and more. Everyone will be a winner!

But don’t take our word for it. We asked a family of museum (and sports) experts to walk us through the spring break starting line-up.

b-ball storytime

Little B-ball enjoyed story time in the galleries, hearing favorite stories and looking at one of the Art Madness competitors.

b-ball tote

The entire family used the hands-on activities and games in the Art to Go Family Tote to explore color in some of their favorite paintings.

b-ball challenge

With art supplies, a healthy dose of imagination and their competitive streak, the B-ball family worked as a team to design a jersey for their Art Madness MVP in the daily Championship Challenge.

b-ball yoga 2

Mama B-ball thought yoga was very relaxing and loved finding peaceful inspiration in the art around her. (Little B-ball wasn’t quite as meditative.)

b-ball ventriloquist

Daddy B-ball couldn’t help but laugh at ventriloquist Nancy Worcester’s hilarious show in the Horchow Auditorium.

Their final conclusion: “Visiting the DMA is a slam dunk!”

Our analysis? Art + Basketball = A surefire hit for the entire family. We hope to see you here March 11-16!

Amanda Blake is the head of family, access, and school experiences at the DMA.
Leah Hanson is the manager of early learning programs at the DMA.


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