Archive for the 'Late Nights' Category

Savor the Arts: A Kitchen Adventure

This Friday, cookbook author and professor of comparative literature Dr. Mary Ann Caws will be here to discuss her book The Modern Art Cookbook during our Savor the Arts Late Night event.

The-Modern-Art-Cookbook-by-Mary-Ann-Caws1

The Modern Art Cookbook is equal parts art historic document and recipe guide, illuminating the relationship between art and food. In preparation for this event, the DMA’s programming team decided to try some recipes from the book to see what they were like (and to test their kitchen skills).

Betsy Glickman, Manager of Adult Programming:
I have always been a fan of the “breakfast for dinner” concept, so I opted to tackle an egg-based dish from the book. Armed with a minimal set of ingredients—and an even more minimal set of cooking skills—I set aside an evening to bring Pablo Picasso’s Spanish Omelette to life in my kitchen. I originally thought the dish would resemble a traditional, half-plate-sized omelette, but as I laid out the ingredients (10 eggs, 4 potatoes, 2 onions, etc.), I realized this was going to be much larger.

Betsy_1

I began by peeling and slicing the potatoes and onions. I then tossed them into a large pan and sautéed them for about 15 minutes. While they were cooking, I beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.

Once the potatoes and onions were beginning to brown, I drained them on some paper towels to help absorb the excess moisture. I then added them to the salad bowl along with a large helping of salt and pepper.

Next it was time to make the omelette. I pulled out the best nonstick pan I own, added some olive oil and medium heat, and poured in the contents to cook for several minutes.

Betsy_2

As the edges began to firm up, I realized the hardest part of the process was yet to come: I somehow had to flip this thing over. I snagged a plate for assistance, and, in a swift movement, transferred most of the contents to the plate and back into the pan. All in all, I’d give my flip an 8 out of 10.

Betsy_3

I cooked the omelette for another 2-3 minutes. The book instructed to leave the center a little runny, but, unfortunately, I overcooked it a bit. Even so, the end result was quite tasty. Viva el Spanish Omelette!

Betsy_4

Things I learned: It’s difficult to ruin an omelette, but there are endless ways to make it better. In the future, I may try adding tomatoes, peppers, and/or salsa to this recipe.

Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services:
I decided to make Brecht’s Favorite Potato Bread because I have always been interested in mastering a bread recipe (yeast and rising dough have always been a bit of a mystery to me). This recipe called for one cube of yeast, which I should have researched before picking this recipe. I tried finding a conversion from cubed yeast to dry yeast and was not successful, so I went with one packet of dried yeast for the recipe. Because dry yeast needs to be activated with water, I reduced the amount of oil recommended.

Stacey's Ingredients

Even with that reduction, my dough was very wet. After adding an additional cup of flour it was still not the texture I thought it should be. But having little experience with bread, and thinking that the mashed potatoes probably added moisture, I thought maybe that was how it was supposed to be.

While the dough did rise, as you can see from the photos the dough did not hold its shape once formed into “loafs.”

Stacey's Recipe 4

While the look of the bread left much to be desired, I found the flavor interesting, which I attribute to the lemon zest.

Things I learned: Yeast used to come in cubes. I will add lemon zest to any future bread dough recipes I try.

Liz Menz, Manager of Adult Programming:
The last time we all got together for a cooking blog, I went with soup, so this time I ventured into the realm of desserts. I decided to make Claude Monet’s Almond Cookies. The recipe is much like a shortbread recipe, so there were very few wet ingredients and (something I discovered halfway through) the dough required kneading.

photo 3

Combining the flour, confectioner’s sugar, ground almonds and lemon rind into a bowl with the eggs was the easy part. Realizing that the cubed butter was still needed, I figured out that my wooden spoon was not going to cut it, so kneading was the way to go!

photo 1

After some work (and one phone call to my mother), I realized I was doing this right, as the dough finally came together. It was on to rolling out the dough and cutting the cookies! I am a less-than-prepared baker and discovered that, in a pinch, a wine bottle doubles well as a rolling pin and wine glasses are the perfect size for cutting!

photo 4

After I sprinkled the cut cookies with sugar and sliced almonds, they went into the oven for about 20-25 minutes. They came out golden and yummy! The lemon rind really gave them a great flavor, and I decided that these cookies would be great with a cup of coffee and a book.

photo 2

Things I learned: Shortbread-type recipes are harder than they look, but worth it. Lemon rind is a great addition to cookies. Also, thanks Mom.

Don’t forget to join us on Friday as we savor the arts! And, for more fun food-inspired posts, peruse the Culinary Canvas section of our Canvas Blog.


Betsy Glickman is a manager of adult programming at the DMA.
Stacey Lizotte is head of adult programming and multimedia services at the DMA.
Liz Menz is a manager of adult programming at the DMA.

Celebrating Friendship: The First 12 Months of DMA Friends

The DMA Friends program turns a year old this month, and what a year it’s been! Our DMA Friends have helped reshape the way people visit the Museum—collecting points and badges—and the experiences they have at the DMA. There are so many highlights that we decided to recap some of the greatest hits of the past 12 months.

January – Let’s Get This Party Started
january
We launched the DMA Friends program, as well as our return to free general admission, with a day full of free activities on January 21, 2013. By the end of that first day, we had over 800 new friends. New DMA Friends have continued to join with enthusiasm—in fact, we welcomed the largest number of DMA Friends between December 26 and 31. Happy Anniversary, DMA Friends!

February – Busy Bees
February
The first full month of our new gallery activity, the Pop-Up Art Spot, was very pop-ular. DMA Friends love taking a creative break in the galleries with inspiration from the DMA’s collection. The Pop-Up Art Spot is currently the most popular activity for DMA Friends.

March – Rewarding Rewards

Lacey with her red hat

With all of their visits, activities and check ins, DMA Friends started raking in their points quickly. Our first high value reward, Dinner and Movie, was redeemed only two months after the launch of DMA Friends. It was the first of many special rewards redeemed this year, including the Art Beauty Shoppe reward, which you can read more about here.

April – Cindy Sherman Doppelgängers
April
We encouraged DMA Friends to test their creativity with our Cindy Sherman Super Fan activity. DMA Friends grabbed their wigs, costumes and cameras and tweeted their interpretation of Cindy Sherman for extra points and a bonus badge. DMA staff even got in on the fun—see more here.

May – Hera, Medusa and Zeus. Oh My!
May

Throughout the year, DMA Friends have had the opportunity to earn special limited-edition badges. In May, those who came to Late Night dressed as their favorite Greek hero received the Midnight Masquerade Badge, not to mention some adoring and impressed fans.

June – Indonesian Celebration
The DMA celebrated the award-winning catalogue Eyes of the Ancestors: The Arts of Island Southeast Asia at the Dallas Museum of Art with a week of activities, which was right up our DMA Friends alleys. The DMA’s Asian Galleries received the most visits by DMA Friends, with over 18,000 check-ins!

July – The President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy
July
We were halfway through our presentation of the DMA-organized exhibition Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy in July. This exhibition was the most visited exhibition of 2013 by DMA Friends.

August – Into the Deep
IMG_4409
The DMA Friends reward Into the Deep was featured in the Dallas Observer in August. Since the launch of DMA Friends, 26 guests have explored the Museum’s art storage by redeeming this exclusive reward.

September – Coast to Coast
In September, we received great news: the DMA was awarded an IMLS grant to help fund the expansion of a platform of engagement based on the DMA Friends program to partner institutions, including the Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Stay tuned this year for exciting news as their plans develop.

October – Late Nights, High Numbers
october
Ten months into our program, we reached over 30,000 new DMA Friends! And they loved October’s Late Night, when we welcomed the largest number of new DMA Friends during our monthly event.

November – Overnight at the Museum
november
Ten DMA Friends visited exhibitions, attended lectures, created art at the Art Spot and more to earn 100,000 points since the launch in January. Those DMA Friends and a few of their buddies were the first people to ever spend the night at the DMA. Read about their fun overnight adventure here and start saving your points now!

December – Feeling the Love
DMA Friends are making news around the world! In December, The Economist magazine put the spotlight on DMA Friends with its “How to Win Friends” article on the program.

Celebrate the first year of DMA Friends, as well as the DMA’s 111th birthday, this Friday during Late Night. We have a lot of fun events in store, including a few surprises for DMA Friends! Check out the Late Night schedule here to start planning everything you want to do.

If you aren’t already a DMA Friend, be sure to sign up for the free program on your next visit.

Kimberly Daniell is the manager of communications and public affairs at the DMA and Sarah Coffey is the assistant to the chair of learning initiatives at the DMA.

Autumn in the Arts District

This October is going to be one of the most exciting I can recall – from the 15th anniversary of the Crow Collection of Asian Art and 10th anniversary of the Nasher Sculpture Center to the U.S. premiere of Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take at the DMA, and even (dare I say it?) the unveiling of a new Big Tex at the State Fair. Having spent most of my life in the Dallas Arts District thanks to my mom, Susan (a DMA docent since 1976), I am thrilled to serve my first year as executive director of the Dallas Arts District during the inaugural year of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Klyde Warren Park, and the Dallas City Performance Hall, and in the first year of DMA Friends (the DMA’s free membership program) and free general admission.

Image source: dbdt.com

Image source: dbdt.com

With the end of summer, the Dallas Arts District is in full swing again, beginning with a day of activities on Saturday, October 5. The Dallas Black Dance Theatre will kick off its 8th annual DanceAfrica marketplace and festival at Strauss Square with a pedestrian parade of dancing in the streets from the DMA to the AT&T Performing Arts Center. CBS Radio’s Fall for the Arts will have free family activities and three stages of performances from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also catch a sneak peek of Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take at the DMA that day, before the exhibition officially opens. Additionally, the Crow Collection of Asian Art will celebrate its 15th anniversary with the grand reopening of its sculpture garden, which will include kids events and food truck lunch service.

Jim Hodges, and still this, 2005-2008, 23.5K and 24K gold with Beva adhesive on gessoed linen, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMAamfAR Benefit Auction Fund , © Jim Hodges

Jim Hodges, and still this, 2005-2008, 23.5K and 24K gold with Beva adhesive on gessoed linen, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMAamfAR Benefit Auction Fund , © Jim Hodges

The Crow isn’t the only institution celebrating a milestone anniversary this fall. The Nasher Sculpture Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary with Nasher Xchange, a three-day weekend of free festivities culminating in a ten-hour celebration on Sunday, October 20. Friday, October 18, will also include a free afternoon concert and tour at the Meyerson Symphony Center, TEDxSMU at the Dallas City Performance Hall, and the Arts District Fall Block Party. The Nasher, DMA, and Crow Collection of Asian Art will stay open until midnight for our fall Arts District Block Party, and light-based, site-specific new media and immersive art installations can be explored district-wide as part of Aurora’s Light of Convergence, presented by the Dallas Morning News.

Image source: dallasaurora.com

Image source: dallasaurora.com

A new class of first year students has begun their academic semester at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and a new crop of leaders is starting a new chapter in the neighborhood as well. Dr. Scott Rudes is Booker T.’s new principal; Tara Green started this summer as president of Klyde Warren Park; Doug Curtis is the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s new president and CEO; and The Dallas Opera welcomes its new music director, Emmanuel Villaume. Maestro Villaume will begin his inaugural season with Carmen on Friday, October 25, at the Winspear. The performance will be simulcast free in Klyde Warren Park – complete with a costume contest and singalong. Park visitors can also enjoy food and drink from the Park’s new restaurant, Savor, and their grab-and-go kiosk, Relish – both opening soon.

Courtesy of Dallas Opera

Courtesy of Dallas Opera

There’s far more to share, including new seasons of the Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Shakespeare Dallas, as well as newcomer Oral Fixation’s true storytelling series. You can enjoy a Pearl Cup Coffee or free Patio Sessions concerts in Sammons Park. To stay up-to-date on all the goings-on in our neighborhood, “Like” Dallas Arts District on Facebook, follow @DalArtsDistrict on Twitter, and subscribe to our weekly  e-blast here.

Thanks for supporting our new collaborative and inclusive programming, and I hope to see you soon in the Dallas Arts District!

Catherine Cuellar is the executive director of the Dallas Arts District.

Move Over Hercules – A Greek Hero DIY

We invited DMA Friend and DMA Partner Breanna Cooke to give us the inside scoop on how to quickly and easily transform ourselves into Greek heroes for Friday’s Late Night on May 17 celebrating The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum. You might remember Breanna from March’s “Wizard of Oz” Late Night when she arrived as a flying monkey. Come dressed as a Greek hero this Friday to earn the May Midnight Masquerade Badge and 450 bonus points in the DMA Friends program!

Flying Monkey

How to Create a Greek Hero Costume

Need help creating a Greek mythology costume for the DMA’s Late Night this Friday? Below are some simple steps to make your own costume without sewing or spending a lot of money. We’ll start with making a chiton (pronounced khitōn), the draped garment typically worn in ancient Greece.

Supplies
White sheet OR 2 yards (approx.) of white or cream fabric: It should be long enough to hang from your shoulder to the floor. If you want it to be knee-length, you’ll only need about 1.5 yards or less.
Safety pins: We’ll be pinning the fabric together, but you can also sew it together.
Gold rope, belt, or ribbon
2 brooches (optional)

02_ChitonSupplies

Making a Greek Chiton

1. Cut the Fabric
Cut the fabric lengthwise so you have two long rectangles. One rectangle is the front, and the other is the back. If you’d like to have a knee-length chiton (more common for men), this is a good time to cut it shorter. (Bonus: If you don’t like the frayed edge at the bottom of the fabric, you can glue gold ribbon along the bottom edge to cover it.)

03_Step1_GreekChiton_CutFabric

2. Pin the Shoulders and Sides
With safety pins, fasten the top corners of the front to the top corners of the back. You’ll want to bunch the fabric together a bit as you pin it. Be sure to tuck in the edges of the fabric if it’s fraying. Next, pin the sides of fabric together along your ribcage. It doesn’t have to be perfect, this is to help keep the fabric from blowing open.

04_Step2_GreekChiton_PinShoulders

3. Tie on Your Belt
Tie your belt around your waist or rib cage. You can use any kind of belt, rope, or ribbon. You can even paint something gold if you don’t have anything.

05_Step3_GreekChiton_TieBelt

4. Add the Brooches
Pin your brooches to your shoulders. You can use them to hide the safety pins. I didn’t have any brooches, so I bought some earrings at a thrift store, glued them together, and added a pin to the back. You could even make your own out of cardboard or craft foam and paint them. Get creative!

06_Step4_GreekChiton_AttachBrooches

Accessories and Props for Your Specific Greek Character

It’s time to customize your outfit with some props. They don’t have to be complicated in order to be effective. Below are some simple ideas to help identify yourself as a specific character:
1. Lightning Bolt and Beard = Zeus, King of the Greek Gods
Lightning Bolt: Draw a lightning bolt on foam board or poster board; cut out the shape and color with silver paint.
Beard: Paint on a beard with face paint OR purchase a beard from a party or costume store.

2. Laurel Wreath = Apollo, God of Music, Arts, and Enlightenment
Laurel Wreath: Create a headband with poster board. Draw leaves and cut them out. Use hot glue to stick the leaves in place, overlapping as you go. Color with gold spray paint.

07_ApolloCostume_LaurelWreath

3. Feathery Wings = Eros, God of Love (Cupid!), or Nike, Goddess of Victory
Wings: Purchase wings from a costume or party store OR draw wings on poster board. Cut out the shape of the wings, attach elastic straps with hot glue, and loop over shoulders.

4. Shield, Spear, Helmet = Athena, Goddess of Warfare
Shield: Find a large plastic platter or cut a circle out of foam board. Glue on a handle made of foam board or cardboard; color with gold spray paint.
Spear: Use a broom handle or dowel and color with gold spray paint. Draw a spearhead on craft foam. cut out two spearheads from the craft foam. Glue the craft foam together at the edges, and slide the broom handle into the pocket formed by the two pieces.
Helmet: Purchase gladiator-style helmet at a costume or party store; color with gold paint OR get creative with craft foam and hot glue to make your own!

athena

4. Shield, Spear/Sword = Hercules or Achilles, Hero of the Trojan War
Shield and Spear: Follow steps above for Athena.

6. Gold Tiara/Crown, Veil = Hera, Goddess of Marriage and wife of Zeus
Tiara/Crown: Make a crown out of poster board; color with gold spray paint.
Veil: Take a piece of sheer fabric or leftovers from your chiton; attach to tiara/crown with staples.

7. Roses and Scallop Shells = Aphrodite, Goddess of Love
Roses: Purchase some fake roses or flowers from a thrift store; color them with gold spray paint.
Scallop Shells: Draw some shells on poster board; color with gold spray paint and add the shells to your flower bouquet.

Need to look up some other characters from Greek mythology? Check out this list on Wikipedia for more ideas.

See you on Friday at Late Night at the DMA!

Breanna Cooke is a Graphic Designer, Costume Creator, and Body Painter living in Dallas. To see more of her work, visit breannacooke.com. Check out progress photos of her latest projects on Facebook.

Cindy Sherman Transformed

On Friday, DMA Late Night visitors stopped by the Tech Lab to dress up and pose in a Cindy Sherman-like scene. Check out their transformations in these photographs taken by Greenhill School photography students and visit the Cindy Sherman exhibition to find the inspiration for the backdrops in the photos below. Stop by the Tech Lab during the Late Night on May 17 to participate in a Body Beautiful-themed Late Night Art Bytes, in celebration of our exhibition The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum.

Because so many visitors stopped by the photobooth, we are still editing images. Check the DMA’s Flickr page throughout the week to see new additions to the group.

Transform yourself at home into Cindy Sherman to earn the DMA Friends Super Fan: Cindy Sherman Badge! Find out how on the DMA Friends Highlights page.

Jessica Fuentes is the C3 Gallery Coordinator at the DMA.

There’s No Place Like Home…Or a Museum That’s Open Until Midnight

Next week is Spring Break and we are offering a lot for families and visitors of all ages to do at the DMA.

We will kick-off the week with our WFAA Family First Day on Saturday, March 9. Then, throughout the week you can explore our galleries with self-guided tours, stop by the Art Cart, compete in games with your family, and more!

Stop by our new Art Cart in the Museum galleries.

Stop by our new Art Cart in the Museum galleries.

And to end the weeklong celebration, we invite you to join us for our annual Spring Break Block Party on Friday, March 15. We will be open until midnight for our Late Night event, as will our neighbors in the Arts District: the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Klyde Warren Park, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Each year we program the March Late Night around a fun family theme, from Where the Wild Things Are to Alice in Wonderland and the world of Dr. Seuss. This year, staff debated between Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, and after some nostalgic discussions and fun brainstorming meetings, we decided to go over the rainbow and follow the yellow brick road to the wonderful world of Oz.

Don’t miss the “Prince of Pop-Ups,” Robert Sabuda, who will discuss his major feats of paper engineering, including his pop-up book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Sabuda_Wizard of OZ

Families can explore the galleries with our Journey Through Oz Family Adventure to find courage, a heart, a brain, and a home. And if you stay late, you can take a tour that looks at the lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) in our collection.

Sword ornament in the form of a lion, c. mid-20th century, Cast gold and felt, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Sword ornament in the form of a lion, Ghana, Nsuta State, Asante peoples, c. mid-20th century, cast gold and felt, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

As for films, we decided we didn’t want to show the original Wizard of Oz but instead screen some interesting takes on the classic. So throughout the night you can watch Tom and Jerry’s take on the film as well as The Muppet’s version. And for adults we will screen the cult classic Return to Oz.

Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can take a photo with your friends and family in front of our Emerald City backdrop, accompanied by cardboard cut-out characters from The Wizard of Oz. Glinda the Good Witch is living in my office until the big day!

Glinda

And if you are a DMA Friend, come to Late Night dressed as your favorite Wizard of Oz character to earn the Midnight Masquerade Badge and 450 points! Not a DMA Friend? Be sure to sign up at the kiosks near the Visitor Services Desks when you arrive.

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

iMuseum: iCame, iSaw, iDid

Next week our September Late Night will be our “iMuseum 2.0” event, where visitors can use technology to explore the DMA and participate in new, interactive programs. You will be able to text a work of art with your questions, listen to the winner of our Be Our Main Stage Act contest, go on a Choose Your Own Adventure tour, have conversations with our curators in the galleries, go on our Twitter Treasure Hunts, and more!

Here are just a few of the new programs we will be offering on September 21:

Text a Work of Art
Do you sometimes wonder what a work of art is thinking or feeling? Well now you can find out when you text a work of art your question and get a response! There will be three works of art answering your questions throughout the night, including Cornelis Saftleven’s College of Animals, so start thinking of your questions.

Cornelis Saftleven, “College of Animals,” 1655, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation

Silent Soundtrack
Visitors will be able to check out a pair of headphones, provided by Austin Silent Disco, se -up with three different music channels. Each channel will have a soundtrack picked by DMA staff for a specific gallery. After you listen to our choices, we invite you to share your own ideas about the music you would choose to accompany a gallery or work of art.

Personal Tours
Check out a docent for a personal thirty-minute tour of two to three works in the DMA’s collection. Choose from themes like Love & Lust, Big & Small, Land & Sea, Work & Play, Secrets & Stories, Gods & Heroes, or Good & Bad. Docents will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

One of the works you will hear about on your personal tour.
Mask, Mexico, state of Veracruz, Rio Pesquero, Gulf Coast Olmec culture c. 900-500 B.C., jadeite, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott and The Eugene McDermott Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Art Trivia
Do you know how many paintings by Gerald Murphy are in the DMA’s collection? If so, participate on your own or bring a group of friends and play as a team, in our Art Trivia contest. There will be several rounds and the winners of each round will win great prizes!

Gerald Murphy, “Razor,” 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Pick Our Main Stage Act

September’s Late Night theme is “iMuseum,” where you can use technology to explore the DMA and participate in new, experimental, and interactive programs. We also want you to pick our September Main Stage Act by voting for your favorite performance from our Be Our Main Stage Act contest. The winner will be announced next week.

And the finalists are (click here to cast your vote):

Daniel Hart

Veronica Lopez

Jon Meyer

J. D. Whittenburg

Little Birds

Stumbling Onto Something New

Hello there! My name is Michele Loftus, and I’m the Marketing Coordinator for The Dallas Arts District. A lot of people don’t know that my organization actually exists, so let me take the opportunity to introduce us. We are an advocacy organization for . . . you guessed it, The Dallas Arts District! Still confused? I’ll put it this way: if you’ve ever eaten at a food truck, ventured out to an artsy block party, or consulted one of our kiosks looking for directions, then you’ve crossed paths with what our organization does. We’re often the ones who close off the streets for late night parties, coordinate the programs, and most importantly, do our best to make it easy for you to be a one-stop shop for all things Dallas Arts District. We bring together all the museums, restaurants, performing arts companies, and venues to promote the neighborhood along Flora Street as a cohesive district. All this being said, we hope you’ll join us for our next big bash, the Summer Block Party, this Friday night from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.

Now in our fourth year of throwing block parties, we’ve had the fortune of attracting more and more people to our neighborhood and educating them on the various offerings of the Dallas Arts District. What’s interesting now though, as observed in our most recent block parties and art crawls, is that people will come not knowing we’re throwing these events in the first place. They’ll stumble upon them for various other reasons: food trucks, a concert at the Winspear, or just driving by. Seeing the streets all lit up with activity, it’s difficult for them to stay away. It’s become something that amazes me every time and is now one of the things I look forward to most when wandering around, sending out my usual tweets, or taking pictures of what’s going on. It’s that curious “So what’s happening over there?” look, and the subsequent “Oh, awesome!” when I tell folks that the museums are open until midnight and send them on their merry way down Flora Street, knowing they’ve caught the buzz of our neighborhood.

Often, I’ve noticed these people are the faithful food truckies who follow their favorites to the ends of the earth, and this time their journey happens to lead to the Arts District. But I’ve also met a fair share of museum-goers who are equally as surprised and excited to find out there’s an entire food court waiting for them just down the street. We even come across people who are members at one institution and have no idea there’s something going on at the others right next door.

This kind of exchange is why we do these events and one of the many reasons we thrive on nights like the Summer Block Party. We’re fortunate to have an arts district that’s all on one street, so we can foster exciting collaborations like these and make it easy for people to stumble upon something new.

To discover something new for yourself, visit us at this Friday’s Summer Block Party. The museums will all be open until midnight. For more information, visit http://thedallasartsdistrict.org.

Michele Loftus is the Marketing Coordinator for The Dallas Arts District

Youth and Beauty in the Harlem Renaissance

Regarded as one of the premier art historians on the Harlem Renaissance, Dr. Richard Powell will be joining us on Friday, May 18, for our Late Night celebration centered on the Harlem Renaissance and the Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties exhibition.

Dr. Powell, the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art & Art History at Duke University, has been writing on art and curating since 1988, when he received his Ph.D. from Yale University. He has worked with the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. We asked him a few questions about his work before he joins us on Friday.

You’ve worked extensively on African diaspora, American art, and African American art.  What drew you to the Harlem Renaissance specifically?

So much of the work during this period was trail-blazing. It was pushing against conventions to make a bold, new statement in art.

Would you comment on the work Congo (1928) by Aaron Douglas, which is featured in Youth and Beauty, and how it is evocative of the Harlem Renaissance?

It is evocative of the Harlem Renaissance because Douglas is encouraging viewers to see African dance, bodies, and art as sources of inspiration and information. My favorite part of the picture is the woman looking upward with what seems like “super sight” Eyes that radiate upward on a levitating figure. Eyes that do more than simply see; they project.

Aaron Douglas, Congo, c. 1928, gouache and pencil on paperboard, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Gift of Susie R. Powell and Franklin R. Anderson

Do you have a favorite, little known fact or story about the Harlem Renaissance?

My little known fact is that the term “Harlem Renaissance” actually comes into common currency starting in the 1940s. Artistically inclined black artists in the 1920s and 1930s referred to that moment as the “New Negro Arts Movement.”

What are you most looking forward to on your visit to Dallas?

Just seeing Dallas. It’s been a little while since I was last there. I’m really looking forward to my visit!

Dr. Powell’s lecture, Jungle Beauty: Harlem Renaissance Portraits and Their Marks, will start at 9:00 p.m. in Horchow Auditorium on Friday, May 18. We hope to see you there!

Liz Menz is the Manager of Adult Programming.


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