Archive for June, 2018

Dallas Pride

Last Friday we hosted our first Pride Late Night in celebration of National Pride Month. We want to thank all of the visitors—there were more than 5,500 of you!—who came to the event and showed their Dallas Pride. It was a fun night and we loved seeing the support for the DFW LGBTQ community.

Here are some photos from Late Night and the Summer Block Party in the Dallas Arts District.

Stacey Lizotte is the DMA League Director of Adult Programs at the DMA.

Visions of Home: An Interview with Artist Ellie Ivanova

This summer, the Center for Creative Connections (C3) is thrilled to have C3 Visiting Artist Ellie Ivanova here to design interactive in-gallery activities in which visitors contribute their visions of home. These perspectives then become part of a larger print created independently by the artist at her studio before finally being installed back in C3. Get to know more about Ellie and her project below, and stop by the Center for Creative Connections to contribute your own drawing to the project.

Ellie portrait

Tell us about yourself.
I am an artist who uses photography, but goes beyond the print. I have lived in several countries (Bulgaria, Latin America, the United States, and Italy) and am grateful for all the people I have met in all the places where I have lived who have shaped my experience.

What motivated you to apply to the C3 Visiting Artist Project?
As a researcher pursuing a PhD in Art Education, my special interest is in public pedagogy, which is everything we learn from each other in informal ways outside of a classroom environment and everything we do when sharing experiences through art. Having changed homes myself many times, and living in between two homes right now, I found an affinity with people who are longing for a lost home or dreaming for one. I wanted to see what would happen when all our different ideas of home come together, and what better place to experiment with this than Dallas Museum of Art!

Tell us about the installation you’ve created in the Center for Creative Connections.
It is a participatory print, in which many different small drawings of homes—lost, dreamt, and found—are contributed by visitors on squares of transparency. Using these as photographic negatives, I put together these drawings to print a “neighborhood” of the collected homes on photo-sensitized fabric. I’m using the cyanotype process, an old photo process that has been used through the decades for scientific and architectural imaging along with creative art making. Even though a home is something personal, a place that separates us from the rest of the world, with this project we see how different or similar our ideas of home look like when they are brought together.

 

 

Ellie c3 project

C3 Visiting Artist Project Space

Do you have any favorite visitor contributions you’d like to share?
The simplest drawings have been most delightful! Of course, I enjoy the elaborate, detailed homes done by other artists or others who are invested in the process. But when we have to draw simply, the bare bones of thought show through. I enjoy seeing how our basic image of what a home is can translate into being something so creative.

fabric closeup
Kerry Butcher is the Center for Creative Connections Education Coordinator at the DMA.

An Enduring Legacy

DMA staff celebrated a true Dallas icon on Monday: Margaret Milam McDermott. Not only did she support the DMA throughout her life, but upon her recent passing, her renowned collection of Impressionist and modern art was given to The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund to benefit the Museum. These works will be on view in the special exhibition An Enduring Legacy: The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Collection of Impressionist and Modern Art. Though in true Margaret McDermott fashion, she added a special stipulation: prior to the public opening, DMA staff would be given a special time to enjoy her pictures—along with an abundant breakfast buffet, of course. That was just the type of person she was.

As her memorials attest, she touched many lives here in Dallas, not least of which included Museum staff. Russell Sublette, Senior Preparator, fondly recalls countless lunches in her Dallas home, where she would entertain guests from all walks of life. During one memorable meal in 2009, Mrs. McDermott discussed an upcoming trip to Gettysburg, a site she had not yet been able to visit. Surprised that her travels had not taken her there, Russell mentioned that he knew the Gettysburg Address. Mrs. McDermott asked him to recite it, and by the end, had tears streaming down her face. They shared a love of the written and spoken word, so Russell was always happy to repay her deep kindness with the gift of words. “Margaret built a nest in the clouds and she allowed us to visit. That was a great privilege,” he says.

Russell Sublette views his favorite artwork from the McDermott Collection: Poplars, Pink Effect by Claude Monet.

Madeleine Fitzgerald, Education Coordinator for Audience Relations and former McDermott Intern, looks back on her lunch with Mrs. McDermott with a smile as well: “She welcomed all the interns into her home and treated each one of us as if we were her own family, sharing stories of her life and experiences that I will always treasure.”

“Margaret was generous with a lot of zeros, generous with a few zeros, but most of all, generous with her spirit,” says Martha MacLeod, Senior Curatorial Administrator for the Curatorial Department. Her boundless generosity will truly be her lasting legacy—at the Museum and across Dallas.

An Enduring Legacy: The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Collection of Impressionist and Modern Art will be free for the public to enjoy from June 14, 2018, through February 17, 2019.

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator for Internships and a former McDermott Intern at the DMA.

Holding Up a Mirror to Texas Icons

If you’ve visited the DMA lately, you likely noticed the large red mural created by Minerva Cuevas in our Concourse. For those unfamiliar with Cuevas’s art, she is known for her conceptual multi-media installations, and the way her images, language, found objects, and sculpture work together to create political critiques. Some of her projects reformat the visual language of advertisements, using it to harness advertising’s power to affect cultural narratives. For example, see Cuevas’s morbid reimagining of the Del Monte logo. What makes her work so interesting and accessible is the way it explores the relationships among socioeconomic systems, indigenous identity, and the environment with a sense of dark humor. Sometimes, as we see in Fine Lands, her work is downright playful.

Fine Lands, on view at the DMA through September 2, transforms the Museum’s central Concourse into a dystopian Texas landscape, rendered in a powerful comic-book style. Familiar silhouettes of oil wells become menacing, insectlike forms, while crude oil spewing from a derrick morphs into a cloud of bats filling the sky.

Minerva_Cuerva_Installation_07_o3

Alongside cacti and desert scrub, a tortoise’s shell is reimagined as a backpack, a reference to the northward journeys of migrants. A tough, muscled armadillo and wide-eyed prairie dogs wear bulletproof vests. It’s easy to imagine these critters as comic book characters with individual personalities.

Minerva_Cuerva_Installation_06_o2

Meanwhile, enormous ants represent industrial and agricultural labor. Echoes of the Texas State Fair’s midway evoke the quintessential cultural icons of Dallas. Framing the mural at one end of the Concourse are the words “LAND LIBERTY LIFE,” a message that is equally evocative of the American dream and of indigenous struggles for autonomy and food sovereignty.

Minerva_Cuerva_Installation_05_o3

 

Minerva_Cuevas_Press_Preview_3.jpg

Fine Lands Press Preview, May 11, 2018

This imagery and its layers of associations allow us to imagine unfolding narratives, or to insert our own memories of the Texas landscape. Although the mural clearly references hot-button issues such as pollution, migrant labor, and the power of the fossil fuel industry, there is no single overarching message. Rather, Cuevas holds a mirror up to Texas culture, reflecting it back to us with the added insights that creative metaphor brings. For example, she treats oil in several ways: as a natural resource, as an element of our economy (for better or worse), and as a visually fascinating substance that oozes and seeps across the landscape. More than a simple warning about the dangers of oil as a pollutant, this imagery evokes the role of fossil fuels as the bedrock of Texas industry and an important component of our deep-rooted sense of independence.

Through its examination and reframing of common cultural stereotypes surrounding our state, Fine Lands offers a new way of seeing and understanding subjects such as immigration, the politics surrounding natural resources, and ideas about Texan identity. The presence of bright white crosshairs distributed throughout the mural lends an undertone of menace. The sight of these crosshairs hovering on the wall just ahead implies an immediate threat, lurking right behind us. How we understand that implied threat, and the extent to which we participate in Cuevas’s reflection on the Texas landscape, is up to each of us.

Chloë Courtney is a Digital Collections Content Coordinator at the DMA.

PRIDE

To celebrate National Pride Month, our Late Night on Friday, June 15, will feature a variety of groups and performers from the DFW LGBTQ community. This Late Night is also part of the annual Summer Block Party, and the Dallas Arts District is joining the celebration of Pride month with outdoor festivities.

We knew we wanted to involve local community members in the planning of the event, so we asked representatives from DFW LGBTQ groups to help us brainstorm program ideas. Our team was excited and energized by their enthusiasm and support of the event, and after several months of planning we put together this full schedule of events.

We are welcoming back performers from The Rose Room (who were last here in 2012) as well as featuring new performers and groups, including Chris Chism, Flexible Grey Theatre, and Verdigris Ensemble. We also wanted to make sure we featured some of Dallas’s LGBTQ history, so Robert Emery and cast members from Uptown Players will perform stories collected from the LGBTQ community. Following that, there will be a talk looking at the overall history of LGBTQ art in America with art historian Tara Burk. And, for the first time, there will be a Kiki Ball at the DMA!

Throughout the night, DMA staff will also highlight the following LGBTQ artists in our collection:

Anton Prinner

Anton Prinner, Large Column, 1933, wood and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 1996.148.McD

Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly, Untitled, 1982–83, stainless steel, Dallas Museum of Art, commission made possible through funds donated by Michael J. Collins and matching grants from The 500, Inc., and the 1982 Tiffany & Company benefit opening, 1983.56

Anne Whitney

Anne Whitney, Lady Godiva, c. 1861–64, marble, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. Alessandra Comini in memory of Dr. Eleanor Tufts, who discovered the Massachusetts-backyard whereabouts of this long-forgotten statue and brought it to Dallas, 2011.8

Félix Gonzáles-Torres

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987–90, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection, © The Félix González-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, 2001.342.a–b

Marsden Hartley

Marsden Hartley, Mountains, no. 19, 1930, oil on board, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 2008.24.McD

With all that’s in store, we hope you join the summer crowds and don’t miss out on a fun-filled night in downtown Dallas!

We would like to thank the following community groups for their help in planning the Pride Late Night:

Abounding Prosperity
Arttitude
Cathedral of Hope
City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs
Coalition for Aging LGBT 
The Dallas Arts District 
Dallas Voice 
Downtown Dallas Inc.
Flexible Grey Theatre
GALA, Gay and Lesbian Alliance of North Texas
LULAC Rainbow Council
OnBrand Productions
The Resource Center
The Rose Room
Turtle Creek Chorale 
Uptown Players 
Verdigris Ensemble


Stacey Lizotte is the DMA League Director of Adult Programs at the DMA.

No Safe Place: Solving Another DMA Museum Murder Mystery

It seems no place is safe! Last Friday, the DMA saw yet another murder (we really should do something about that!), but luckily we had some top-notch detectives on hand to help us solve it.

The evening started innocently enough with a painting class, but jealousy and greed reared their heads and poor Miss Mary Pelham paid the price.

With the great sleuthing done by our visitors, we discovered that the murder was committed by Miss Gertrude Murray with the Man’s bracelet in the Decorative Arts and Design After 1900 Gallery.

We documented the night’s events to make sure there was no cry of foul play:

28688381578_b1dd5d2bf8_o

Line-up of the suspects (from left): Helen of Troy, Peasant Woman, Camille Pissarro, Paul Claude Michel Carpentier, Miss Gertrude Murray, Frida Kahlo, Thinking Bodhisattva

guilty1

Miss Gertrude Murray attempts to conceal her guilt during questioning by some tough investigators.

Stacey Lizotte is DMA League Director of Adult Programs at the DMA.

Beat the Heat

School’s out, the temps are rising, and we’ve got long, lazy 100-degree days ahead. Are you ready? Whether you’ve got art-seeking explorers, I’d-rather-be-reading library kids, or pass-me-the-glue crafters, the DMA has something fun for everyone.

You can cool off from the heat while taking a closer look at art from around the world . . .

Listen to tall tales and daring adventures during story time . . .

Get a creative workout making a sculpture or sketch in the Center for Creative Connections . . . and so much more!

Summer fun begins Tuesday, June 12, and it’s easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to join in. No tickets needed, no reservations—just stop by for FREE family fun every day (except Monday—we’re closed!) and check off your summer fun to-do list. You can see the complete schedule here.

Leah Hanson is the Director of Family, Youth, and School Programs at the DMA.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,447 other followers

Twitter Updates

Flickr Photo Stream