Archive for the 'Thursday Night Live' Category

Creativity: My first encounters and my first discoveries

Magdalena Grohman leading a class in the Center for Creative Connections

Magdalena Grohman is a creativity expert who spends the occasional Thursday evening at the DMA helping inspire visitors participating in Thursday Night Live’s Artistic Encounters. But how did Magdalena discover her own creativity? She shared that journey with us below.

I received one of my very first lessons about creativity in elementary school. I was made to believe that creativity was only for those artistically or musically talented. You were born with it or you were not. I did not possess these talents, but at the same time I enjoyed writing in my diary, sketching (especially different layouts and arrangements for my dream room), creating collages, and so on. But that wasn’t considered creative. Only art, only music, and only if you were naturally talented.

The cracks in this belief system started to appear in high school when I met students and teachers who encouraged creative expression through other domains such as dance, movement, and theater. Suddenly, I realized I could express myself, share my state of mind, tell a story, and provoke others to think in new, creative ways. The true breakthrough came when a group of professors from Jagiellonian University in Krakow came to my high school to lead a workshop that taught creative thinking. With the workshops came a new wave of thinking about creativity and my first and foremost discovery about it: creativity was in everyone and could be enhanced.

This meant you could be CREATIVE in any number of ways, be it telling stories, designing birthday cards, finding new ways to teach, writing a song, formulating hypotheses, communicating diagnosis . . . the list goes on. This also meant that you could nurture creative potential at any stage in life. “But,” the professors warned, “You need to put some work into it.” What they meant was that creativity could be honed and developed by shaping core attitudes about creativity such as open-mindedness, self-discipline, and perseverance.

So, the first step to increase your creative potential is to liberate yourself from any belief system that is detrimental to creativity. The second step is to nurture positive attitudes toward creativity. These include (according to creativity researchers and educators) sticking to your creative endeavor no matter what and being open-minded, observant, curious, and self-disciplined. With this in mind, you will see that the next steps are much, much easier.

Take the next step tomorrow night when Magdalena will lead Thursday Night Live Artistic Encounters: Think Creatively with Tom Cox and Peter Goldstein at 6:30 p.m. in the Center for Creative Connections.

Shelagh Jessop is the Center for Creative Connections Coordinator at the Dallas Museum of Art

Summer DMA: A Top Ten List

In honor of summer, we’ve put together a top ten list of the best reasons to spend it at the Dallas Museum of Art (although we could have gone to 100!). What are your favorite ways to spend summer at the Museum? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Top Ten Reasons to Spend Summer at the DMA

10. It’s a bargain.
DMA members receive free admission and parking every day. Active military personnel and their families receive free admission all summer through September 4 (learn more about the Blue Star Museum Program). The first Tuesday of every month is free, and Thursdays throughout the summer are half-price ($5) admission!

9. A rare Matisse sighting.
Rarely on view because it’s a light-sensitive work on paper, Matisse’s beloved Ivy in Flower can be seen in Afterlife: The Story of Henri Matisse’s “Ivy in Flower.”

Henri Matisse, "Ivy in Flower," 1953, colored paper, watercolor, pencil, and brown paper tape on paper mounted on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, © Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

8. Music. Drinks. Masterpieces. Mix to taste.
Every Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. Live jazz music. Cocktails and dinner. Artful conversations. Activities in the Center for Creative Connections and more. (and remember Thursdays are half- price this summer!)

7. The art doesn’t go home. Why should you?
Stay up past your bedtime the third Friday of July and August for Late Nights at the DMA.


6. Experience the Museum’s first Native American art exhibition in nearly 20 years.

Explore more than 100 works in Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection, on view through September 4.

5. Haute Couture at a discount.
Save up to 20% on advance tickets for the hottest new exhibition in North America, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk  (opening on November 13 at the DMA!).

Jean Paul Gaultier, Les Vierges [Virgins] collection, "Apparitions" dress, Haute couture, spring/summer 2007, © P. Stable/Jean Paul Gaultier


4. Expect the Unexpected.

9 x 9 in July: nine unique days to experience the Museum until 9:00 p.m., every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, July 14–30.

3. Get out of the heat and into the art!
It’s always a cool 72 degrees in the Museum.

2. See a new work of art in the DMA’s collection.
Bojan Šarčević’s She makes it’s debut in Silence and Time, on view in the Barrel Vault.

1. A front row seat in front of The Icebergs.
Cool off in front of Frederic Edwin Church’s amazing masterpiece after visiting the collection.

Frederic Edwin Church, "The Icebergs," 1861, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt, 1979.28

Like a Rolling Stone

The 28th season of Jazz Under the Stars will kick off tomorrow and we are all very excited about this year’s lineup. A full schedule and brief details on each of the groups can be found on our concerts page. I recently had the chance to chat with Tim Ries, saxophone player and featured artist for the June 9 Jazz Under the Stars concert. I was excited to get to ask him a few questions about his background as an artist, his time with the Rolling Stones, and The Rolling Stones Project. Watch a video of Tim performing his arrangement of Satisfaction from The Rolling Stones Project.

Q: What made you first get into jazz, and music in general?

My dad played the trumpet and had a band, although it was not his full-time job. I grew up in Detroit, so he also took me to all the concerts that toured through the area. I got to see all the famous big bands when they were on tour, like Woody Herman Band, Maynard Ferguson, Count Basie, and the Ellington Band. Then of course my dad also had all the jazz greats playing at home too, like Louis Armstrong.

My sisters were all into the Beatles and Rolling Stones so I heard that a lot growing up too, which is great since now I play with the Stones.

Q: So, what was your “career path” as an artist?

When all the Motown bands left the Detroit area for California in the early to mid 70s, many of the “sidemen” stayed in the area. I had the chance to play with these guys from a very young age. That was really great. Then I went to the University of North Texas for my undergrad and got my masters from the University of Michigan. And I am actually working on my DMA at the Manhattan School of Music right now. From 1983 to 86 I was in the Maynard Ferguson band, so I guess that would be considered my first “touring gig.”

After that, I moved to New York, where I have lived since. I play a lot in the city and travel all around to play with many people and many different types of music. I have had the chance to work with lots of great musicians, including Donald Bird, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson.

Q: When did you start working with the Rolling Stones and how did you get this gig?

I started touring with the Rolling Stones in 1999. I had worked with their trombone player, Mike Davis, before and the saxophone spot opened up so he called me. They needed someone who could play saxophone as well as keyboard and organ and I could do it. So it really was a matter of who you know, being in the right place at the right time, and being a versatile and well-rounded musician.

Q: What is your favorite concert, or road experience?

Well, two things come to mind…

Many years ago I was booked on a recording session with Elvin Jones, who is my favorite jazz drummer of all time. I was very excited to be part of this session. Then on the same evening of the Jones session, I was booked to play a Stevie Wonder concert. Stevie is my favorite singer. Talk about an exciting day!

The second one was a Stones gig in Rio, on the Copa Cabana Beach, where we played for 1.5 to 2 million people. The concert promoter could not give an exact count because of the huge size of the crowd! They had to build a bridge over the road to the stage–over all the people–simply so the band could get to the stage to play the show. The “awesome factor” of that many people is almost indescribable.

Q: What inspired “The Rolling Stones Project” and the follow-up album, “Stone World”?

I had been wanting to do a “jazz album” of current popular music for awhile. I wanted to do something totally new and not just new arrangements of the same old standards from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Having been with the Stones for several years by then, I thought, “why not do this project with their tunes as ‘modern day’ standards?” Charlie Watts got into the project first and was going to be the guest drummer on a couple of tracks. Then Keith Richards got in on a few tracks, and by the time the first album was finished, we had over twenty-five guest artists on it. The second album ended up with seventy-five guests, including all the original Stones members again, as well as an overall all-star lineup.

Q: What new projects are on the horizon for you?

I will have two new CDs coming out this year. The first one that will be released was actually recorded in between the time of The Rolling Stones Project and Stone World. The second is a live CD recorded more recently in a New York club called Smalls. It features John Patitucci, Chris Potter, Billy Drummond, and Kalman Olah.

I also have many recordings and video footage of additional Stones songs done in big band arrangements that I would like to release sometime in the near future as well.

Mostly, in my own projects, I don’t want to be classified as only a jazz artist. I want to do projects where I have a chance to make great music with all the great musicians that I have had the honor to work and play with over the years.

Don’t miss your chance to see Tim Ries and The Rolling Stones Project featuring Bernard Fowler on Thursday, June 9!

Denise Helbing is Manager of Partner Programs at the Dallas Museum of Art.

All That Jazz: Meet Our Resident Jazz Legend

As a special treat for our Dallas Museum of Art jazz (and other music) lovers—and in celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month—we will showcase the music of the great composer, pianist, and bandleader Duke Ellington in the Atrium (part of Thursday Night Live!) during April.

We thought that this would be a great time to spotlight Wendell Sneed, our Coordinator of Jazz in the Atrium. Wendell is a long-time employee of the DMA (18 years!), but more than that he is our own local celebrity and Dallas jazz legend! Wendell was a member of the popular 1970s Dallas funk group Soul Seven and was featured in the 2008 KERA documentary South Dallas Pop—When Funk Was King (visit this link to listen to a clip of Wendell — on drums — and Soul Seven performing with Eddie Purrell).

Soul Seven Album Cover (Wendell is the one on the far left)

I sat down to chat with Wendell about what influenced him to become a jazz musician and to get a bit more information about the great line-up for April.

Wendell Sneed, Jazz in the Atrium Coordinator

What got you interested in jazz to begin with? When did you start playing?
My high school band director, Mr. Allison Tucker, was a jazz drummer. He got me interested in music and was my first mentor. I originally wanted to be an athlete in school but hated all the running! By the late 50s I was totally hooked on the drums and jazz and was playing with several bands around town. By the time I was 17, I was touring all around the Southwest and beyond.

What was your favorite gig while you were out on the road touring?
Besides my time with Soul Seven, my favorite gig was when I was the Music Director for a group called “The Honey Combs” in the late 70s. We had a couple of singles that went “gold.” One of them was the tune “Want Ads.”

What is your favorite Duke Ellington tune?
My favorite Ellington tune is a little obscure. It’s called “Come Sunday.” It actually is one of his sacred music compositions. Of course, I like many of the more well known Ellington tunes also.

What is your favorite work of art in the DMA’s collections?
Leadbelly, by Michael G. Owen, Jr., in the American sculpture collection is my favorite. I think about Mr. Owen creating this work and wonder what it was like to talk to Leadbelly himself as he worked on it. Leadbelly’s music became a very important influence on many musicians from many different genres—from blues, to folk and even rock. I wonder sometimes why Mr. Owen chose to portray Leadbelly in this light—solitary and without his guitar in sight.

Michael G. Owen Jr.'s Leadbelly (1943)

Tell us a bit more about the acts you have booked for the April Ellington Showcase.
We will kick off the month on April 7 with the UNT Repertory Ensemble, which is a group dedicated to playing and preserving the art of “classic jazz.” Next, on the 14th, we have pianist Dave Zoller and his group Daybreak Express. They specialize in doing exclusively Ellington material. On the 21st, we will feature the top student jazz band from Carroll Senior High School. They were the finalists for the Essentially Ellington Competition, founded and judged by Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center in New York City.

I am most excited about the performance planned for April 28. We will feature Shelley Carrol, who was a member of the Ellington Orchestra for many years after graduating from the University of North Texas. He will be joined by a very special guest, Duke Ellington’s grandson, Paul Ellington. Paul will share stories of Duke and his compositions that Shelley and his quartet will perform.

Viktor Schreckengost and the Cowan Pottery Studio's Jazz Bowl (c. 1930 -1931)

In addition to the acts Wendell mentioned, on April 14 and 21 we will offer tours of jazz-related artworks in the DMA’s collections, including the Jazz Bowl (pictured above), led by curators and other staff.

Denise Helbing is Manager of Partner Programs at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Seldom Scene: Our Jazz Bowl

This stunning new acquisition, The Jazz Bowl by Viktor Schreckengost, was inspired by an evening’s revelry during one of the artist’s visits to New York City in the early 1930s. Currently on view in the DMA’s 4th floor galleries, it celebrates April as Jazz Appreciation Month.

Viktor Schreckengost, "Jazz bowl" or "New Yorker", c. 1930-1931, glazed earthenware, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange

Thursday Night Live: An Artful Addition to the Nightlife in Dallas

Nightlife in Dallas has a touch of jazz on Thursday nights. Our weekly event, Thursday Night Live, features an exciting vibe with great Dallas jazz bands, exquisite art, and thoughtful conversations. In this video, some of our most loyal fans describe what makes Thursday nights so special in the Dallas Arts District, including live jazz, Artist Encounters, and free student admission.

Every Thursday Night Live runs from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted).  Please leave a comment and tell us about your Thursday Night Live experiences.

Dining Among Masterpieces

Art and good food? We have both at the Dallas Museum of Art. The Cafe at the DMA offers a simple, yet elegant menu with a unique setting.  We are sharing the secret with you about what makes the food and experience in the Cafe so special, and who better to tell us than the head chef himself?

Chef Brian has been our Executive Chef at the Cafe since late September.  He discovered his love for cooking at the age of 5, and since then has been working in great kitchens throughout North Texas.  Now, he creates food to complement the various exhibitions at the Museum.  Here’s our “behind-the-scenes” interview with him:

Uncrated: What are some of the dishes you’ve created inspired by art at the DMA?

Chef Brian: “This is one of my favorite parts of my job – when we have new exhibitions.  I not only get to learn about the works of art being featured in the exhibition, but I get to research the cuisine from the region that they come from.

The Mourners exhibition by far has been the most thrilling for me as a Chef.  We were charged with putting on a dinner inspired by Michelin-starred chefs from Dijon, France.  With the African Masks exhibition, I got to really dive into some South African, Gambian, and Northern African cuisine, to create some of my newest favorite things– – South African Honey Cake with Abuelita Pudding and White Chocolate Anglaise.  I make this treat at home for myself!”

Uncrated: What was your favorite exhibition?

Chef Brian:J.M.W. Turner .  The masterpieces that were shown brought such wonderment to my eyes.  That’s the one thing I love about art:  No matter how old or new the work may be, you never know how it can affect you in a positive way and lift your spirits when they need lifting.”

Uncrated: How does your team prepare for Late Nights at the DMA?

Chef Brian: “I think that Late Nights at the Museum is one of the best attractions in Dallas.  We take a look at what programs and activities are going to happen that night at the museum, and try to plan accordingly with the theme and feel that the DMA is going for.  We keep it simple, so that food can be enjoyed by everyone, from the little artist to the art lovers.”

Uncrated: What’s the best thing about having lunch at the Cafe at the DMA?

Chef Brian: “When I go to a restaurant, I’m looking for an experience.  Well, what better place to sit down and have a bite to eat than the DMA?  Besides being surrounded by priceless works of art, the menu is very bistro and friendly to almost every type of eater.  For me, to eat great classic food with fresh products surrounded by incredibleart is a win-win for all.”

Check out the Cafe menu online.

Date Night at the Dallas Museum of Art

Four Reasons to Bring a Date to the Dallas Museum of Art on a Thursday Night

Why not have a Date Night on a Thursday night at the DMA?

If you want to make an impression on your next date, schedule it for a Thursday night at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Here are four great reasons why Thursday Night Live at the DMA is one of the best things to do in Dallas.

1. Live music. Every Thursday evening, live jazz music is performed in the Atrium for all museum visitors.  Jazz music is sure to enhance the atmosphere of the date, and will give you a nice background to get to know each other.

2. Food and drinks. In addition to music, food and cocktails are available to Thursday night visitors.  Food and drinks are the staple of any date, and you can enjoy these in a unique setting.

3. Strolling through the Galleries:  The Museum’s four floors of world-class collections are a great place to travel through art history and “tour the globe.” Special events and lectures on art from around the world are frequently offered, led by some of the country’s most renowned experts.  Be sure to check the DMA’s Programs page for up-to-date information.

4. Artist encounters. For a more interactive evening, you can check out the Artist Encounters held in the Center for Creative Connections.  Here, you can unleash your own creativity with the help and expertise of some of the best local artists.

Best of all, the events are free with general museum admissiom (which is free if you have a valid TX student I.D.).  So, if you’re tired of the same old dinner-and-a-movie dates,  the Dallas Museum of Art can help you explore your creative side and showcase your talents to impress your date.  Even if you’ve been married for years, Thursday Night Live is a great escape from the daily grind.

If your Thursday date night goes well, join us for Date Night Late Night on February 18 and spend a romantic evening with live music, artist and author appearances, tours of our collection, and more.

Artist Encounters: Brian Fridge

Brian Fridge is an artist working primarily in video whose recorded explorations of time and space feel at once both physical and psychological. Brian is January’s Visiting Artist in the Center for Creative Connections (C3), where you can interact with him during Thursday Night Live’s Artist Encounters, a great way to spend a weekday evening. But first, here’s a little more about what inspires Brian.

 

1.      Why do you love art?
Art gives you the chance to be free from the purposes of everyday life
and to sometimes even relate to nature in a different way. And while
 nature has a predictable structure, there’s a kind of purposelessness in
nature.

2.      What is your favorite space to create in?
I usually like solitude when working and for me the best size space is not too big and not too small. I’ve often worked on art in whatever
living space I’ve had, and I think my artwork has benefited from that.

3.      How many years have you been an artist?
I guess since I was a kid, but after a year or so into college I changed my degree from advertising art to fine art. It was an easy decision to 
make, but it still seemed risky.

4.      Which artist or movement inspires you?
The work of American artist Edward Ruscha inspired me a lot early on. I really like the dry humor in his very simple paintings, but they are
 serious at the same time. He leaves so much to the viewer’s imagination.

5.      What are some of the exciting activities you have planned for January at the DMA?
I’m really looking forward to all of the activities of the month. One activity, which we will be doing tonight, will be to invent some apparatus or process that is meant to do the actual art making. The
artist sets things in motion, but chance will play a big part in the results.

Visitors participating in an Artist Encounters program during Thursday Night Live.

Explore the world through a lens with Brian. Bring your own digital camera, or borrow one from us (quantities limited) at Thursday Night Live. Who knows? Maybe you’ll unleash your creative side and become one of our future visiting artists. Hurry up though, as Brian only has two more Thursday Night Live appearances this month!

The Center for Creative Connections


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