Archive for the 'Staff' Category

Meet the McDermott Interns

 

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September is already upon us, which means it’s once again time to meet our new McDermott Interns. Each year we offer nine internship positions—four in the Museum’s Education Department and five in the Curatorial Department—to talented individuals who are interested in exploring museum careers. Established in 1974, the McDermott Internship Program allows interns to work closely with staff throughout the Museum and provides opportunities for individual contributions. Below you’ll find some brief background information on our brilliant new bunch, along with their official positions.

Grace Diepenbrock
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching
Grace completed her BA in Studio Art at Mars Hill University in North Carolina. She most recently served as the Family Programs Assistant at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where she led programs for families and early learners. Grace has also held positions with the EdVenture Children’s Museum and the Madison County Arts Council, where she developed the curriculum for an art-based afterschool program.

Kelly Filreis
McDermott Graduate Intern for Contemporary Art
Kelly received her BFA in Print/Paper/Book from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and recently completed her MA in Art History from the University of California, Riverside. While at UCR, Kelly served as the Art History Graduate Student Association Vice President and coordinated the 2016 Art History Graduate Student Conference. She has also worked with multiple galleries in Minneapolis to coordinate exhibitions and special artist projects.

Sara Greenberg
McDermott Graduate Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live
Sara completed her BA in Art History at the University of Denver and recently earned her MA in Art History from the University of California, Riverside. As a collections intern at the California Museum of Photography, she initiated a print viewing program to provide increased accessibility to the collection. While in Denver, Sara held internships at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Denver Art Museum, where she helped organize their monthly late night program, Untitled Final Friday.

Angela Medrano
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching
Angela recently earned her BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, where she majored in American Studies. During her time at Dickinson, Angela founded a program for university student volunteers to learn and teach American Sign Language to early learners at the Dickinson College Children’s Center. Angela also worked with the university’s Trout Gallery to facilitate art-based wellness programs and programs for K–12 visitors.

Dana Olesch
McDermott Intern for Ancient American Art
Dana recently earned her BA in Anthropology and History from Beloit College in Wisconsin. During her time at Beloit, Dana served as a teaching assistant for multiple courses and worked with the college’s Logan Museum of Anthropology to create teaching materials for high school and college students based on the museum’s Andean and North American collections. She has also participated in archaeological excavations of domestic sites in Virginia and Peru.

Francesca Soriano
McDermott Intern for American Art
Francesca recently earned her BA in Art History from Colby College in Maine. While completing her degree, Francesca worked with the Colby College Museum of Art in various roles, including that of curatorial intern, student docent, and co-chair of the Student Advisory Board. She has also held internships with galleries in New York, Paris, and Berlin, during which she gained experience in development, communications, and exhibitions.

Marta Torres
McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement
Marta earned her BA in Arts and Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey and her Masters in Art Education with an emphasis on Museology from Caribbean University. Marta has worked with multiple departments at the Dr. Pio Lopez Martinez Museum of Art in Cayey, gaining experience in education, collections, and curatorial research. She also held a position researching and organizing the archives of artist Antonio Martorell.

Amy Wojciechowski
Dedo and Barron Kidd McDermott Graduate Intern for European Art
Amy received her BA in History from Oberlin College and holds her MA in the History of Art from Bryn Mawr College, where she is in the process of completing her PhD. Amy curated an exhibition of special collections at Bryn Mawr’s Carpenter Library and has also held a curatorial internship with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she contributed to an exhibition on Fernand Léger. She has also served as a student docent and education intern at Oberlin’s Allen Memorial Art Museum.

Megan Zembower
McDermott Intern for African Art
Megan recently completed her BA in Art History and French at Denison University in Ohio. While at Denison, Megan held positions as a teaching assistant and as a research assistant, working with her professor to organize an exhibition of contemporary art at Kenyon College’s Gund Gallery. Megan has also conducted architectural research on the Simon Jude Chancognie House, a historic 19th-century home located in Charleston.

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator at the DMA. 

In-House Photography

It has been a few years since the DMA has hosted a photography exhibition, and it has been a real treat to present Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty—the artist’s first retrospective in 20 years and the first since his death. While Penn is well known for his work in fashion and portraiture for magazines like Vogue, the exhibition also features some of his lesser-known, personal work, like his street photographs and a series of nudes.

In celebration of National Photography Month, we sauntered down to the studios of the three DMA staff photographers—Chad Redmon, Ira Schrank, and Jerry Ward—for their take on the exhibition.

Chad Redmon, Assistant Photographer, Digital Media at the DMA

Chad Redmon, Assistant Photographer, Digital Media, at the DMA

Ira Schrank, Digital Collection Photographer at the DMA

Ira Schrank, Digital Collection Photographer at the DMA

Jerry Ward, Collection Photographer at the DMA

Jerry Ward, Collection Photographer at the DMA

On their own work
Chad: The piece that was in the DMA staff art show last year was a pretty good example of my work: I cut a hole and my arm was reaching through, taking a picture. It was a trompe-l’œil, speculative space. I like to play with your expectations of looking at photographs, something that would obviously not actually happen in real time. People have to take a second look at it, even if I’m standing next to them.

Ira: I shoot landscapes mostly. But I’ve also done environmental portraits. I’ll use backdrops to hide the background, or take the environment out, not quite like Penn; I didn’t try to have one specific look. I often use either paper or fabrics to isolate the things I shoot. To a photographer, it enables you to really look at what it is you are looking at, without letting the world cloud it.

Jerry: I’m a commercial photographer; this is my first museum job. My background is in sports, food, and journalism—mostly ads and billboards. I was a Saints team photographer when I was younger. So if it moves, I can capture it.

On their familiarity with Penn:
Chad: I saw an Irving Penn show at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. in 1988, when I was a freshman at art school. I saw that show 20 times. I went over and over again. I even bought the book, which was one of the first coffee table books I ever bought, and I still have it to this day.

Ira: I’m really fine art oriented, but of all the commercial photographers, he is my favorite.

On their favorite work in the show
Chad: Willie Mays, jumping up. It looks like he’s flying like Superman. It’s not an often-seen photograph. It’s one of the few actually manipulated. He took a photo from a long way away of Willie Mays in action, cut him out of whatever background he was on, and stuck him on a field of white. It doesn’t look like anything else in the show.

Ira: I don’t really have a favorite. There is so much different work. He is all over. The early work that he’s done, where he is an editorial photographer, I love those. But those are so different. It’s hard to see how he goes from those pictures—like traveling around the South—to how he got to his studio work. I guess his experience of being an artist in New York got him from point A to point B.

Jerry: The lady with the martini (Woman in Dior Hat with Martini (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), New York, 1952). It’s really high contrast. And it’s cool how the martini works in the glass. And I like food stuff, since I’ve shot food.

On Penn’s most interesting body of work
Chad: I like the portraits of intellectuals crammed in corners, on scaffolding, and what not. It’s really egalitarian the way he took portraits. He would take that mobile studio to North Africa and take pictures of the locals. It looked basically like the set he would shoot fashion people in in New York. It highlights the differences between the people, but it also highlights the similarities between them. It divorces them from the background to such a degree that you have to see the similarities and differences immediately.

Ira: I love the raw backgrounds, which allow the photographic process to show. His portable studio, in a way, cancels out the environment, and he can just engage in his process. And he took the portable studio everywhere, to South America, Africa.

Jerry: I like the food and the American South section. I’m from New Orleans—so, the old barber shop and the people outside. You still see those signs at home. It’s familiar.

On what’s surprising
Chad: I had never seen any of the early street photography. I don’t like it very much. There’s nothing exceptional about them to me, but seeing them doesn’t take the shine off of the rest of his work. It’s good to know that he grew into his aesthetic, as opposed to just arriving fully realized.

Ira: No surprises. But what makes so many of his pictures work so well is that he isolates them. None of the sets are fancy—sometimes it’s torn-up carpet turned upside down. It’s interesting that in our show, when you turn the corner and enter into that newer, color work, it doesn’t quite work in the same way. To me, there is a big difference between what looked like commercial work and his art, which is what we all respond to. Like that work when you walk in [to the exhibition]. What a spectacular photograph.

Jerry: What’s surprising is that Penn would go out and do it his own way. But a lot of [commercial] photographers buckle under to the art director. It’s pretty obvious that Penn was so great that they let him run free. They didn’t tie him up with an art director. The collaboration looked like this: Penn, and-oh yeah-there is an art director, as opposed to, an art director and-oh yeah-there’s a photographer pushing a button. As a commercial guy, that is really cool.

Thanks, Chad, Ira, and Jerry for your insight! Come celebrate National Photography Month with a visit to the DMA this May.

Andrea Severin Goins is Head of Interpretation at the DMA.

An Attempt at Dinner with Jackson Pollock

This Friday, author and photographer Robyn Lea will be here to discuss her cookbook Dinner with Jackson Pollock during our March Late Night. And, in what has become a tradition for the Adult Programming team, we decided to try our hand at making a few of the recipes. You can find our other cooking attempts here and here.

Dinner with Jackson Pollock

Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services:

I decided to make Pollock’s Spinach Muffins with Tomato Chutney because it sounded delicious and I had never made a chutney before.

Stacey Ingredients

The recipe was pretty straightforward and easy to make. Because the chutney takes an hour to simmer on the stove, I started that first by putting all the ingredients in a pot on medium-low heat. While that was simmering, I prepared the spinach muffin dough.

The “muffin” dough was very wet and very dense, and after baking it, I would classify the final product as a stuffing more than a muffin.

Once the chutney was finished simmering, I sampled it, and while I loved the flavor I did not like the texture (as I am not a fan of raisins, which was a main ingredient). So I took half of it and used an immersion blender to smooth it out. I loved the smoother chutney and used it in other dishes I made for dinner that week.

Stacey Two Chutneys

On its own, I felt the spinach muffin was very salty; the recipe called for one teaspoon of salt, and if I made this again I would go down to half a teaspoon of salt. Though pairing the spinach muffin with the sweet and savory chutney did help balance the saltiness in the muffin.

Stacey Final

Things I learned: Your home will smell amazing after simmering chutney for an hour on your stove. Even a good chutney can’t make me like raisins.

 

Jessie Frazier, Manager of Adult Programming:

In Lea’s recipe for Long Island Clam Pie, she references an interview that Pollock gave for a 1950 New Yorker story in which he recalled his and Krasner’s first year in Springs, living off of the sale of one painting and some clams that he dug out of the bay with his toes. True or not, it’s a pretty romantic story. Plus, I wanted to try my hand at cooking clams.

Jessie Ingredients

After scrubbing the recommended thirty-six clams and letting them rest in a brine to release their sand and grit, I steamed them for a few minutes in a Dutch oven with two cups of water. Word to the wise: do not let clams boil over. Terrible things happen.

Jessie Action Shot

I sautéed the chopped clam meat with a little onion and more than a little butter. Then I added peeled and chopped potatoes, flour, milk, lemon juice and zest, herbs, and some of the leftover clam juice for an extra punch. I poured the mixture into a *cough* store-bought pie dough, added a top crust, finished with an egg wash, and baked for forty minutes.

The creamy roux and potatoes made for a hearty pie, but the lemon and the parsley gave it a really light, refreshing flavor.

Jessie Final Pie

Things I learned: Next time I will increase the clams, decrease the lemon zest, and step up my pie decorating game.

 

Madeleine Fitzgerald, Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming:

I love to cook! But working for both DMA Arts & Letters Live and Adult Programming at the DMA means that I’m regularly not home in the evenings. So I chose a recipe that would be a full day’s affair for a Sunday dinner with my brother and his girlfriend! I have never roasted beef or made Yorkshire Pudding or gravy before, so I was pretty concerned and excited to see how things would turn out. Any recipe that starts with a giant steak stuffed with six cloves of garlic is already a winner in my book!

Madeleine Raw Steak

The recipe also called for twelve small onions, but that seemed like an insane amount of onions. Maybe Lee Krasner meant twelve pearl onions?! But I come from a family of onion lovers and that didn’t seem like enough. I decided to quarter four small regular onions instead.

Once the meat was browned on the outside, I transferred it to my pan filled with potatoes and onions. This was no easy task and required a pair of tongs, a wooden spoon, and help from the multi-armed goddess Shiva Nataraja. I tossed in some fresh rosemary from my balcony garden as well.

Madeleine Cooking Steak

After cooking for thirty-five minutes for medium-rare, the steak looked perfect: crispy on the outside, very pink on the inside. And my apartment smelled like rosemary and garlic. But I could already tell the potatoes and onions could use another ten minutes.

Madeleine Table

This section of the cookbook also had a recipe for Yorkshire pudding, which was fantastic! I used bacon grease instead of goose lard (because who has that in their kitchen?!), and they were smoky and delicious! I also made the gravy recipe (not pictured), but having never made gravy before, it wasn’t pretty. Tasted good, but quite lumpy. The recipe also suggested this meal be served with roasted Brussels sprouts, which are one of my favorite vegetables. I followed my mother’s recipe, which is essentially 1 part Brussels sprouts, 1 part garlic, 1 part olive oil, roasted at 425 for 20 minutes. DELICIOUS!

Madeleine Plate

Things I learned: Gravy is hard. Transferring a giant steak from a frying pan to a baking dish is also hard. Making your apartment smell amazing for the rest of the evening and feeding your family with a delicious and historical meal? Worth it.

Did we whet your appetite? Then please join us on Friday, March 18, at 9:00 p.m. to hear Robyn Lea discuss her cookbook Dinner with Jackson Pollock.

The Answers She Gives

In honor of Employee Appreciation Day on Friday, March 4, we asked Writer-in-Residence Kendra Greene to share one of the stories she’s been collecting at the DMA. The following is from her conversation with Genet Mamuye, Visitor Services Representative:

Genet Mamuye and Kendra Greene in front of one of Genet's favorite spots, The Icebergs.

Genet Mamuye and Kendra Greene in one of Genet’s favorite spots, in front of The Icebergs.

On a slow day, Genet Mamuye talks to hundreds of people. There are little kids and people in their nineties and first-timers and non-English speakers. There are regulars who come almost every day and there are people who don’t know where to start. There are people who ask where to eat downtown and how to get their art on the walls and is there anything for sale? What should I see?

Genet started with the DMA 23 years ago, and spent her first nine years as a gallery attendant. In the early 2000s, she moved to the Visitor Services Desk, where you’ll find her now. There was a time when she only saw big crowds when there were big exhibitions, but now she sees more people than ever.

Visitors are always asking Genet what her favorite thing is at the Museum. That’s where they want to start. But the short answer is: She doesn’t have one. Sure, she walks the DMA two or three times a week to see if anything is new. She also keeps up with the cultural goings on in the area so she can answer the questions that have nothing to do with the Museum she represents. She believes the main thing is to ensure whoever walks in has a good experience. Which is to say, she wants to give an answer, but what she really wants is for visitors to connect with the things that matter to them. She knows people who swoon for contemporary work can’t be sent anywhere else. She finds it’s a safe bet that children and families will fall in love with Egypt on the third floor. If you announce you only have fifteen minutes for your visit and time’s a-ticking, you’ll be sent to the Reves Collection on Level 3. And when Genet asks you on your way out how it went, chances are you’ll thank her.

Once, years ago, a young man asked his father to go to the Museum. It was the young man’s birthday. The pair was from out of town. The young man adored Ellsworth Kelly, and only when they arrived did he realize there was an exhibition of Kelly’s work. What luck! The young man and his father asked Genet about it, and were crestfallen to realize the installation wasn’t quite done, the show not quite yet open. They had come so far, and they wouldn’t be back in time to see it.

It was at that moment that Mr. Kelly’s car pulled up. They could see it through the glass doors. Genet quietly noted the arrival to the young man and his father, and left it at that. Mr. Kelly was so gracious, so nice. He took that young man on a private tour of the not yet open show. The young man was overjoyed, and even now thinking about it, Genet brings her hand to her heart.

Working with the public, in Genet’s view, means you have to be open to learn. You have to be respectful and you have to be positive. Certainly, you can’t assume. There are people that wander past three times, obviously lost, and you have to find the way to approach them. Visitors come back on later visits and remember Genet. But, as she says, “It’s not just me. All my coworkers are really good. We have to be. We open our doors for everybody.”

A. Kendra Greene is The Center for Creative Connections Visiting Artist at the DMA.

Pet-a-Palooza: A Tail-Wagging Line-Up of Fabulous Felines and Furry Fidos

You have got to be kitten me right meow—is it national Dress Up Your Pet Day already? Indeed it is! If you were having a ruff day, not to worry! Every January 14 the dog-gone crazy DMA staff transform their cuddly critters into a favorite work from our collection (check out the catwalk from 2014 and 2015). It is im-paw-sible not to smile after viewing these purr-fect copycats. Who will be your favorite cat-tenders?

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DMA Staffer: Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services
DMA Pet: Parker, English Springer Spaniel, age 2 (he belongs to my parents but I borrowed him when I was home for Christmas)
Portrait Inspiration: Camille Pissarro, Self Portrait, c. 1898
I sent my mom several portraits from our collection to pick from and she liked Camille Pissarro’s Self-Portrait best because Parker has the same soulful look. We had a lot of moving parts with this portrait—from props, background, and getting the right angle so that Parker’s chest hair looked like a beard—therefore it took about 120 shots to get one good one of Parker as Pissarro. And a shout out to George Costanza for letting Parker borrow his beret and painter’s palette.

Mexico Jessica
DMA Staffer:
Jessica Fuentes, C3 Gallery Manager
DMA Pet: Fidel (age 4), Nene (age 6), and Cappuccino (age 2 months), Chihuahuas
Portrait Inspiration: Jesús Guerrero Galván, Images of Mexico (Imágenes de México), 1950
New year, new pup! Just a few weeks ago we added a new Chihuahua puppy to our Chihuahua family, so when thinking about this year’s Dress Up Your Pet Day, I had to find a work of art with three figures. I planned to roam the galleries searching for the perfect painting, starting on Level 4 and working my way down. But I didn’t have to go very far. On the Level 4 Landing, overlooking the DMA Cafe, I came across Images of Mexico (Imágenes de México) by Jesús Guerrero Galván. Not only did it contain three figures, but each figure seemed to capture each of my dogs’ traits. The figure in the middle with the piercing eyes had the unmistakable stare of my moody dog, Nene. The figure on the left seemed younger and sweeter, asleep and cuddling up to the older sibling, spot on for my loveable, cuddly Fidel. And the figure at right, lying slightly adrift, illustrated the slight rift between the dogs who’ve grown up together and the newbie, Cappuccino.

george chloe
DMA Staffer: 
Amanda Blake, Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences and Interim Director of Education, and Kimberly Daniell, Senior Manager of Communications, Public Affairs, and Social Media Strategy
DMA Pet: George Costanza (age 9) and Chloe (age 10), West Highland White Terriers
Portrait Inspiration: Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Mexican Adam & Eve (Adam y Eve Mexicanos), 1933
George and Chloe enjoyed teaming up so much for last year’s blog that they just had to do it again in 2016. Chloe desperately wants to be best friends with George, but becomes a bit shy when he is around because he is such an Insta celebrity. In order to get her out of her bubble and bring these two westies closer together, we decided making them the original couple would help them take their friendship to the next level—could it be puppy love? Both pups enjoyed re-creating this beautiful, large painting by Alfredo Ramos Martinez, and they can’t wait for next year’s art date.

Jessi red hat
DMA Staffer:
Jessie Frazier, Manager of Adult Programming
DMA Pet: Jenny, Basset Hound, age 5 1/2
Portrait Inspiration: Frank Duveneck, Lady with a Red Hat (Portrait of Maggie Wilson), c. 1904
This is one of my favorite paintings in the collection, and I thought it was only fitting for one graceful lady to emulate another. Jenny agreed that, like Ms. Maggie Wilson, her delicate features are best captured in profile.

T43118, 3/31/05, 12:37 PM, 8C, 5518x7554 (216+420), 100%, Repro 1.8 v2, 1/8 s, R68.5, G54.1, B79.0

DMA Staffer: Rebekah Boyer, Assistant Manager, DMA Member Groups
DMA Pet: Stokely Carmichael, Domestic Housecat, suspected Panther, age 4
Portrait Inspiration: Eugène Delacroix, Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban, c. 1827
This painting by Eugène Delacroix always catches my eye when I browse our European collection. The model is dressed with studio props intended to persuade the viewer that she is a mysterious and “exotic” foreigner; her “otherization” is further solidified by the use of familiar conventions of Renaissance portraiture. Not only does this send me down memory lane to my undergraduate infatuation with Edward Said but the contemplation of this “Orientalism” piques my interest in the model herself. Was she complicit in this “imperialist oppression,” or was she merely seeking gainful employment to alter her material conditions? I think Stokely’s faraway gaze mirrors and reveals the original work’s secrets: He is ready to help, as long as there is a tuna-laden reward awaiting him.

pollock, 7/10/08, 12:29 PM, 8C, 4086x8892 (1584+108), 112%, chrome 7 stops, 1/8 s, R55.4, G34.4, B47.8

DMA Staffer: Chelsea Pierce, Curatorial Administrative Assistant, Contemporary Art
DMA Pet: Helios, Great Pyrenees mix, age 6
Portrait Inspiration: Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953
Helios is a sensitive dog with many artistic qualities. Most days, he lounges in his armchair as he waits for his mom to return home. Above this chair is a work on paper—made by a DMA colleague—that resembles the black entangled mass in Jackson Pollock’s Portrait and a Dream. After catching Helios curiously examining this work, the idea presented itself to use his precious face as the portrait side of Pollock’s work. Having worked on the current Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots exhibition for over a year, I can say that Pollock has now become ingrained in every aspect of my life.

2008_43_2_a_e, 11/18/08, 12:33 PM, 8C, 6000x8000 (0+0), 100%, Custom, 1/15 s, R92.9, G57.6, B60.4

DMA Staffer: Andrea Severin Goins, Interpretation Manager
DMA Pet: Artemisia Gentileschi (“Artie”), Malshi (Maltese-Shihtzu), age 6
Portrait Inspiration: Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008
While Artie is named after a 17th-century painter, her favorite kind of art is contemporary. She is particularly drawn to this Dzama sculpture because, like the Minotaur—a hybrid of man and goat—Artie is herself a hybrid (of Maltese and Shihtzu).

lindsay dorothy
DMA Staffer: 
Lindsay O’Connor, Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs
DMA Pet: Hattie, Dachshund-Terrier mix, age 1
Portrait Inspiration: John Singer Sargent, Dorothy, 1900
Little Miss Dorothy was the natural choice for feisty one-year-old Hattie’s first Dress Up Your Pet Day. While this energetic pup enjoys getting cuddles or tearing around the dog park, Hattie patiently sat for her turn-of-the-century portrait and met the camera with poise beyond her years. She enjoyed chewing on the bonnet when we wrapped up.

Not DMA Photography

DMA Staffer: Dr. Anne R. Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art
DMA Pet: Miss Suzl, Maine Coon, age 5
Portrait Inspiration: Thomas Sully, Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, 1843
Miss Suzl loves posing in her library home and we have a white Snow Leopard toy for her to pose next to as Cinderella and her cat. I named this piece Companion Animals: Miss Suzl and the White Pussy.

queta
DMA Staffer: Queta Moore Watson, Senior Editor
DMA Pet: Floyd, Tan and White Tabby, age 9 months
Portrait Inspiration: Léon Frédéric, Nature or Abundance (La Nature or Fécondité), 1897
This allegorical depiction of the unity and harmony of nature was painted by Belgian symbolist artist Léon Frédéric. The dual title, Nature or Abundance, is apt here as flora and fauna unite while surrounded by the abundance of the holidays. Perhaps even more apt, however, is the abundance of ornaments Floyd broke as he harmonized with nature.

(Images: Camille Pissarro, Self-Portrait, c. 1898, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, 1985.R.44; Jesús Guerrero Galván, Images of Mexico (Imágenes de México), 1950, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, 1951.102; Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Mexican Adam & Eve (Adam y Eve Mexicanos), 1933, oil on canvas, Lent by Private Collection, Dallas, TX; Frank Duveneck, Lady with a Red Hat (Portrait of Maggie Wilson), c. 1904, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, 1987.368; Eugène Delacroix, Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban, c. 1827, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Patricia McBride, 2005.34.McD;  Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953, oil and enamel on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, 1967.8, © 2015 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, plaster, gauze, rope, fabric, chair, bucket, and paintbrushes, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2008.43.2.a-e, © Marcel Dzama; John Singer Sargent, Dorothy, 1900, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc., 1982.35; Thomas Sully, Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, 1843, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, 2005.1; Léon Frédéric, Nature or Abundance (La Nature or Fécondité), 1897, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 2007.18.FA

Kimberly Daniell is the Senior Manager of Communications, Public Affairs, and Social Media Strategy, and Julie Henley is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator 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.

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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