Archive for December, 2015

Uncrating 2015

At the DMA, 2015 was a great year full of art, fun, and visitors enjoying an array of exhibitions, programs, and events. Highlights include the fifth anniversary of two of our access programs (Autism Awareness Family Celebrations and Meaningful Moments), the presentation of four DMA-organized exhibitions (Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga, Michaël Borremans: As sweet as it gets, Spirit and Matter: Masterpieces from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art, and Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots), eleven Late Nights, an active year of paintings and object conservation, dozens of classes and art camps for kids, the hosting of our third naturalization ceremony, the topping out of the Museum’s new Eagle Family Plaza and north entrance, and more than 700,000 visitors in 2015. We can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!

 

The Best Way to Spread Artsy Cheer

. . . is singing loud for all to hear!

With the holiday season in full swing, I’ve taken some liberties with a handful of my favorite yuletide melodies. If you know any Claymation experts who’d be willing to work their magic on a DMA-inspired stop-motion musical, please give me a call. Until then, here are a few remixed holiday songs to celebrate some of the works from our collection.

The Minotaur at C3
(to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”)

You know Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson’s
Works in the contemporary collection,
But do you recall
Marcel Dzama’s white minotaur?

The Minotaur at C3
Has a rough and stubby nose.
His face is made of plaster
And it’s covered up with gauze.

Some say he’s funny-looking
‘Cause he only has one arm,
But all the limbs he’s missing
Minotaur makes up with charm.

Half a person and half bull,
Sitting in his chair—
Minotaur, you’re quite a sight!
Drawing you is a delight.

Now you’re our favorite figure
Found in Greek mythology.
How did you leave your labyrinth?
It’ll stay a mystery.

Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund © Marcel Dzama, 2008.43.2.A-E

Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2008.43.2.a-e, © Marcel Dzama

DMA Clocks
(to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Tiny clocks, modern clocks, freestanding clocks,
19th- and 17th-century clocks,
Up on the 3rd floor at the Reves Salon
Is William Moore’s clock shaped like a sun.

Ball Wall Clock, Tall Case Clock, Gilbert Rohde’s Clock,
Paul Frankl’s stylish “Telechron” clock,
Check out a print with clock faces to spare
By Fernand Legér.

There’s Untitled (Perfect Lovers)
Tick-tocking side by side.
Stephen King and Barbara Kruger
Placed a clock on their book’s front side.

If you ever hope to hear the clocks chime,
You may be out of luck—
So many hands, but so few that tell time
On the DMA’s clocks.

 

I Saw A Tiger Licking Its Paws
(to the tune of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”)

I saw a tiger licking its paws
After the Museum closed last night.
It didn’t see me peek
Down the Japanese gallery.
It jumped off of its scroll
Into the hall in front of me.

Then, I saw the tiger stretch out its paws,
And let out a roar with all its might.
Oh, I’ve warned everyone I see
But no one else will believe
That the tiger comes alive at night.

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, after 1792, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art, 1972.13

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, after 1792, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, 1972.13

Happy holidays!

Paulina Lopez is the McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement at the DMA.

Sketching a Collection

To celebrate the opening of the DMA’s newly renovated Arts of Africa Galleries, we put together something fun.

This video, featuring thirty sketches, highlights the creativity and talent of our visitors and showcases their unique perspectives and imagination.

These drawings were originally hung on a temporary wall on Level 3 in the Museum until late August. We’re lucky to have such talented visitors, and we are pleased to be able to show off some of their work on Uncrated.

 

Gregory Castillo is the Multimedia Producer at the DMA.

A Staff Selection in C3

As part of our mission in the Center for Creative Connections (C3), we highlight voices from our community. We achieve this in several ways: by offering visitors the opportunity to publicly respond to works of art, by commissioning local artists to create interactive installations, and by collaborating with local artists to offer special programming. In addition, each year we work with DMA staff, those who wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to select which works of art go on view, to pick a work of art to be installed in C3 and write about it. We call it “C3 Staff Point of View.”

This year, Maria Teresa Garcia Pedroche, Head of Community Engagement, has chosen an assortment of nine retablos, which were installed December 14 and can be seen on your next visit to C3.

 

Describe your job in fifty words or less.
I create experiences and programs both at the Museum and off-site that promote conversation and engagement by inviting community partners to share their unique perspectives on the Museum’s collection. My job also  includes organizing the annual “Young Masters” exhibition, which features works created by Advanced Placement students participating in the O’Donnell Foundation’s AP Fine Arts Incentive Program.

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All of these works are titled Retablo. For our readers who may not know, what is a retablo?
Although these works are titled “retablos,” Spanish for “devotional paintings,” many of them are also considered “exvotos,” paintings that serve as offerings of gratitude. “Exvotos” are created on tin or sheet metal by local artists or artisans using inexpensive materials. Many “exvotos” include a painting of a saint with the name and image of a patron.

What factors led to your decision to choose these works of art to go on view in C3?
Often I work with communities outside the walls of the Museum. We have a proud history of serving North Texas, connecting art and people. Over the years, the communities we serve that collect “exvotos” and “retablos” have asked if these types of works are part of the DMA’s collection. I chose these works of art because some of our communities are specifically interested in them, and showcasing global works helps visitors appreciate and understand the importance of art created by everyone. Personally, I have created “retablos” inspired by strong women in my family.

Also, I love the art and stories with answered prayers. Growing up in Brownsville, Texas, my family traveled to the Basilica of Guadalupe, DF, San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, Real de Catorce, SLP, and other churches. We participated in pilgrimages where visitors would pray for their loved ones and leave their votive offerings at the altar and outside the place of worship. It was wonderful to see and hear visitors share blessings and miracles.

What do you hope visitors will gain from seeing these works of art?
The demographics show that Dallas is multicultural; we can bridge the cultural differences and find common language through the arts.  The arts are the soul of our community, helping reflect and promote the city’s history and cultural diversity: past, present, and evolving. I hope visitors will be open when viewing these works and consider how these “exvotos”—these hopes, dreams, and prayers—are similar to their own.

When you stop by the Center for Creative Connections to see these newly installed retablos and exvotos, take a moment to create your own exvoto illustrating a personal experience or prayer.

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

Pollock for all Ages

Jackson Pollock tends to bring out art enthusiasts of all ages, and his two iconic works in the Museum’s collection have always been an important stop for visitors. The Dallas Museum of Art has a long history with Pollock; we were the first museum in the world to acquire one of his “classic period” works (Cathedral), and the DMA’s Portrait and a Dream is widely considered to be his last major art statement. Since both of these iconic works are on view in the current exhibition Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, we began exploring the archives and stumbled upon photos from a 1970s art tour focused on our impressive Pollock piece:

Preschoolers visit the DMFA and learn about Jackson Pollock in 1976.

Preschoolers visit the DMFA and learn about Jackson Pollock. Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

And then get to try their hand at drip paintings.

Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

Ten 3-5 year olds, who were participating in the Young Artists program started by Southern Methodist University’s fine arts education department, joined DMFA education staff at the Museum for an afternoon all about Pollock . . . and cookies.

See more photos in the November 21, 1976, article “What is Art?” by Clint Grant.

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

Silver Belles Lettres

The DMA Arts & Letters Live series is thrilled to celebrate its 25th season—our silver anniversary—in 2016! As the DMA’s literary and performing arts series, we are known for presenting literary icons, and this year is no different, with authors from Hanya Yanagihara (author of one of the most talked about books of 2015), Erik Larson, Dave Isay, Daniel James Brown, Rainn Wilson, Elizabeth GilbertPadma Lakshmi, and Kate Tempest, just to name a few. We’re kicking off the season with an award-winning duo of “Memoiristas” on January 11: Mary Karr, who will discuss her new book The Art of Memoir, and Tony and Emmy Award–winning actor Mary-Louise Parker, who will play Mary Karr in Showtime’s forthcoming series Lit.

This year you may notice a new look on the cover of our season brochure, which you can view online or pick up in person the next time you visit the Museum. The DMA hosts a staff art show every two years, and I’ve always admired Cathy Davis-Famous’s (you’ve probably all met Cathy on a visit to the DMA; she is always ready with a smile and warm hello at our Visitor Services Desk) whimsical paper dolls made out of discarded exhibition rack cards and notecards. So, I invited her to create a special cover for our 25th season brochure. Here’s what she has to say about designing it:

“When I was asked if I would be interested in creating a design feature for the cover of the DMA Arts & Letters Live brochure celebrating its 25th anniversary, I was ecstatic! I couldn’t believe it–what an honor to be considered for this milestone event. During the fifteen years that I’ve been a part of the DMA, there has always been an impressive lineup of authors and great books. One of my favorite moments is meeting Nanny McPhee’s Emma Thompson at the booksigning table, where I made her burst into a roaring laugh when I told her that I still cry with her at the end of Sense and Sensibility when she finds out Edward Ferris isn’t married. I’ll never forget that!

“I was supplied with an large stack of images of many book covers of great authors, titles, illustrators, and photography, so much to choose from. Then the excitement gave way to stress and the pressure of coming up with a design worthy of this 25th year recognition.

“I had two or three ideas in mind, so I looked through past projects for inspiration but kept going back to what I enjoy creating the most, “Paperdolls.” I needed an image that could display a variety of covers. With the space that I had to work within, the best design would be the likeness of a Marie Antoinette–style, 17th-century fashion big skirt.

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“I proceeded to clip out images of book covers and arranged them and rearranged them until the pattern was suitable. Then I began to piece the paper images onto the template of the doll parts using paper glue, tweezers, and a toothpick. Time intensive but gratifying, she is outfitted with some of Arts & Letters Live’s best! Thanks for letting me be a part of the celebration.”

 

The 25th season promises to deliver several exciting one-of-a-kind experiences. We hope you enjoy this star-studded special anniversary season as much as we enjoyed bringing together these award-winning authors, actors, and performers. Visit DMA.org now to see our entire season and purchase your tickets.

 Carolyn Bess is the Director of Programming and Arts & Letters Live at the DMA; Cathy Davis-Famous is a Visitor Services Representative at the Museum.

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Stop by the DMA Store to stock up on supplies! Pick a postcard of your favorite work of art from the DMA’s collection and send it to a friend with a thoughtful message.

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


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