Posts Tagged 'Center for Creative Connections'

Artist Interview: Timothy Harding

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Last month, our first C3 Visiting Artist of 2018, Timothy Harding, began his participatory installation in the Center for Creative Connections (C3). We’ve enjoyed watching the project grow as Harding adds new contributions to the installation biweekly. Learn more about the artist, his process, and his experiences at the DMA.

Tell us about yourself. (In 50 words or less)
I’m an artist based in Fort Worth, a die-hard Dallas Stars fan, and proud owner of a cat named Clyde. When not cheering on my team, I work in my studio and teach at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.

What motivated you to apply to the C3 Visiting Artist Project?
Recently my practice has been confined to the studio with no outside collaboration. I was interested in coming up with a project that would allow me to collaborate with others and open the opportunity to explore methods that I have not previously used. This is the first project I’ve done that is almost entirely digital in execution and produced with people who I never directly interact with. I’m excited to see how this might impact my practice moving forward.


Tell us about the installation you’ve created in the Center for Creative Connections.
The installation is a site-specific line drawing made up of hundreds of individual marks. This ongoing work is produced from scribbles and gestures left by Museum visitors on an iPad. Visitors leave their mark in a program and send it to me over the creative cloud. From there I make a couple of slight alterations to the file and cut them out via laser cutter in varieties of gray, black, and white paper. After cutting, I visit the Museum and add to the installation. The marks are layered in a manner that allows each to be noticeable while working together to produce an intricate whole.


Do you have any favorite visitor contributions you’d like to share?
I can’t say I have any specific favorite marks that have been sent yet. What I have found most interesting about this project is the number of unique marks I receive on a daily basis. Earlier projects have used my own scribbles, which are very familiar to me. It’s refreshing to find new marks and think about the decision making of that viewer without knowing who they are or anything about them.

What have you enjoyed most about this experience so far?
I’ve enjoyed interacting with Museum-goers. I had the opportunity to give a presentation to an engaged group of people about my work and this project. That was a very rewarding experience. Other interactions have been more casual and occur during installation. People of various ages, from children to adults, seem curious about the project and what is happening. It has been fun to have casual conversations with them and solicit their contributions.

C3 Visiting Artist Timothy Harding will lead a Teen Tour and a Teen Homeschool Workshop in April. Learn more about upcoming Teen Programs here.

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

2018 C3 Visiting Artist Project

Last year the Center for Creative Connections launched the C3 Visiting Artist Project, as a new way to engage with local artists both in the physical space of C3 and through various educational programs offered by the Museum. Through this initiative, we worked with four visiting artists; completing a total of twenty programs throughout the year and serving over 800 visitors. Of course this doesn’t include the countless visitors who had the opportunity to interact with each artist’s creation in C3–from self-guided tours to musical zine making.

In 2018, we are looking forward to another great year of artist projects and programming. Stop by this year to participate in Timothy Harding’s exploration of gesture, contribute to Ellie Ivanova’s collaborative cyanotype neighborhood, and engage with Lauren Cross’ interactive sensory environment. Meet the artists:

Timothy Harding
January – April

Timothy Harding’s education and career have been closely tied to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He received his MFA from Texas Christian University, BFA from Texas Woman’s University, and currently teaches at Tarleton State University. His work explores the relationship between drawing, painting, and sculpture, through dimensional paintings and sculptural installations. Harding’s works have appeared at local venues including Cris Worley Fine Arts, the Power Station, and 500X Gallery. Other Texas exhibitions of his work have taken place at the Grace Museum (Abilene) and Box 13 (Houston). In addition, Harding’s art has been in shows in more distant sites including: Florida State University Museum of Art (Tallahassee, FL); SCENE Metrospace (East Lansing, MI); and And Gallery (Jackson, MS). He was a 2009 recipient of The Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund Grant from the DMA and a 2016 Artist Microgrant from the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Ellie Ivanova
May – August

Ellie Ivanova is a Bulgarian-born lens-based artist who currently splits her time between Texas and Italy. Her major creative interest is the experience of memory, home, and identity in traditional and experimental formats. She uses processes and conceptual approaches through which images continue to evolve after being captured and printed, erasing the boundaries between the factual and the fictitious. As a researcher, she is interested in the museum and the archive as a metaphor for social and artistic expression. Ivanova has an MFA in Photography from the University of North Texas, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in Art Education/Visual Studies. Her photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States in solo and group exhibitions and are part of the permanent collection of Human Rights Art at South Texas College and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, among others. In 2010 she founded Third Eye Workshops, which teach photography to children from marginalized groups in Bulgaria.

Lauren Cross
September – December

Lauren Cross is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and scholar whose work has been exhibited across the country. Cross earned her BA (2006) in Art, Design, and Media from Richmond, the American International University in London, England, her MFA (2010) in Visual Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and her Ph.D (2017) in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX. Cross is a passionate advocate for diversity in the arts, founding WoCA Projects, a non profit arts organization that curates exhibitions and community arts programs that champion women artists of color. She has also written and contributed academic research on the intersections of race, gender and the arts in the fields of women’s and gender studies, visual culture studies, and multicultural studies. In 2013, Cross was among three Fort Worth artists selected for the 2013 Fort Worth Weekly Visionary Awards, and in 2015 she was listed among 100 Dallas Creatives by the Dallas Observer.

Stay tuned to see updates throughout the year about each artist project and upcoming programming. Be sure to stop by the Center for Creative Connections to interact with their creations.

Jessica Fuentes is the Manager of Gallery Interpretation and the Center for Creative Connections at the DMA

Testing for Truth

The Center for Creative Connections has an area designated as the Testing Zone. The space consists of two walls, each with a chalkboard, a large table with stools, and three wires from which items can be suspended for display. The Testing Zone debuted in 2012 as a vehicle for education staff to evaluate the ways visitors engage with various types of art, experiment with potential in-gallery activities, and enable visitors to share their preferences on what objects and interpretative materials are provided in permanent collection galleries.

Prior to the opening of Truth: 24 frames per second, we decided to use the Testing Zone to post a series of open-ended questions and gauge visitors’ interest in a range of topics inspired by works in the exhibition. Unlike most Testing Zone activities, the Truth experiment was challenging because participants did not have the benefit of seeing the works beforehand, nor could we summarize the full scope of the exhibition in the limited amount of space. Additionally, the exhibition resists traditional notions of fine art and consciously avoids a singular narrative, lesson, or point of view.

After reading the series of prompts clipped to the Testing Zone’s three display wires, visitors selected one or more slips of paper to share their thoughts. Each slip contained a single prompt followed by five potential responses that would indicate their level of interest in the topic, whether the prompt was easily understood, and whether the question was something they wanted to encounter at the Museum or discuss in a community forum. The back of each piece of paper was left available for people to write additional thoughts.

Much to my surprise, nearly 350 visitors shared their feedback over two weeks. The responses allowed me to rephrase some of the questions and set others aside. In the end, the prompts became part of the exhibition’s visitor guide and the conversation continues via Twitter (#DMATruth) and written responses which provide the source material for a scrolling LED sign hanging near the exhibition’s entrance.

Emily Schiller is the Head of Interpretation at the DMA

See What’s New in C3!

Stop by the Center for Creative Connections (C3) this summer to see the newly installed exhibition, Art of Communication. Bringing together works from the Museum’s decorative arts and design, American, contemporary, European, and Latin America art collections, this exhibition explores some of the ways visual art serves as a tool for communication. Explore objects arranged in three categories: Communication Through Portraiture, Communication Through Design, and Communication Through Narrative. Each section has a corresponding activity so you can take a moment to draw, create, or write inspired by the works of art on display. Here’s a peek at some of the works of art on view and visitor creations:

Communication Through Portraiture

Sit at the drawing horses and sketch the portraits on view, take a seat at the table and try your hand at drawing a self-portrait or a portrait of a friend, or take turns being the artist in the Photo Studio and pose a friend for a photo portrait.

Communication Through Design

Get inspired by these works of art designed for communication and create your own communication device. Fill out a label and display your device on the shelves at the C3 Art Spot.

Communication Through Narrative

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A Texas Dozen is a photographic portfolio by photographer, filmmaker, and journalist Geoff Winningham. From Dallas to Houston, Winningham captured the life and regional rituals of Texans in the early 1970s. These photographs tell a multitude of stories from events across the Lone Star State. Choose one photograph that catches your eye and write a story inspired by the characters and scene.

Remember, the Center for Creative Connections is open anytime the DMA is open and is always free! Stop in, enjoy the art, and get creative. All ages welcome!

Images: Eugene Speicher, The Farmer, c. 1923, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase; Debbie Fleming Caffery, Looking at Me (Polly), 1984, elatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Jackson, Walker, Winstead, Cantwell & Miller Fund 1998.186;Everett Spruce, Twins, 1939–1940, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dealey Prize, Eleventh Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition, 1940 1940.21; Nam June Paik, Music Box Based on Piano Piece Composed in Tokyo in 1954, 1994, Vintage TV cabinet, Panasonic 10 TV model 1050R, Panasonic mini video camera, incandescent light bulb and 144-note music box mechanism, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Dorace M. Fichtenbaum 2015.48.113; “Ericofon” pattern telephone, Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson, designed 1949–1954, plastic, metal, molded, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund 1995.118; “Bluebird” radio (Model 566), Designer: Walter Dorwin Teague, c. 1934, glass, chrome-plated metal, fabric, and painted wood, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Sonny Burt, Dallas 2014.60.4; Geoff Winningham, The Cronin Gallery, Tag Team Action, Wrestling, negative 1971, print 1976, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Prestonwood National Bank 1981.36.1; Geoff Winningham, The Cronin Gallery, Lamé Pants, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, negative 1972, print 1976, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Prestonwood National Bank 1981.36.13

Jessica Fuentes is the Manager of Gallery Interpretation and the Center for Creative Connections

Artist Interview: Christopher Blay

This spring in the Center for Creative Connections, we invited C3 Visiting Artist Christopher Blay to work with us on a new design for our in-gallery activities. We hope you agree that our time was very well spent. Meet Christopher here and learn more about these imaginative and reflective activities designed for visitors of all ages.

Tell us about yourself in 50 words or less.
I am an artist, and I curate exhibitions at Tarrant County College. I also review art locally. I enjoy the process of making, and create installations that reflect a sense of place. I see value in art that meets both the artist and their audience where they live.

What motivated you to apply to the C3 Visiting Artist Project?
I thought it would be an interesting way to share my ideas with audiences, outside of a curated exhibition. This was about creating a space for reflection, and saying the things left unsaid, in that moment of reflection.

Tell us about the activities you’ve created in C3.
I created three rounds of participatory activities under the project name Machines for Intangible Communications for the Visiting Artist Project (sketches above). They all revolved around the idea that some of the things we want to say can no longer be heard by the people we hope are listening. Part A presented visitors with a desk, a typewriter, some writing materials, and a mailbox. Part B had walkie-talkies and satellites to relay what was spoken. Part C is a phone booth and a Morse code machine for dialing and relaying messages into the void. In each iteration of this project, visitors could reach out and say the things they wish they’d said to themselves, or others. It was a way of expressing the thoughts and words we’ve always wanted to express.

Do you have any favorite visitor responses you’d like to share?
I do. There was a man from Turkey who lost his grandfather when he was about a year old. He told me that it was difficult to speak into the walkie-talkie because he was suddenly at a loss for words; however, when he did speak, he thanked his grandfather for the gift of life, and wished that he was present to see his current life. It was a beautiful moment that I was happy to share with a stranger.

What did you enjoy most about this experience?
I enjoyed being able to make a gesture in a space for art that reflected real experiences. I was inspired to build these machines out of a sense of longing and personal loss, and from stories about loss. This is a human experience and one that I hope connects with visitors. I wanted to build an impossible bridge that maybe a whisper could cross.

Visitor responses from Machines for Intangible Communications Part A.

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Join C3 Visiting Artist Christopher Blay for the Teen Workshop Revolutionary Prints on Saturday, June 24, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The workshop is for ages 13-19; all materials are provided, and no prior experience is necessary. The cost is $8 for the public and $5 for DMA Members.

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


This week, we open the new and improved Arturo’s Nest in our Center for Creative Connections (C3)! The old play areas and design were so well loved that it was time to refresh and re-imagine this beloved play-learning space for our youngest visitors. The Exhibitions team and I had the pleasure of collaborating with the Education Department to come up with a fresh design that harmonizes with the updated Young Learner’s Gallery just around the corner in C3.

Some of the changes we made include installing new carpet (with giant polka-dots) to help with ambient sound, and applying a brand-new landscape to the walls, courtesy of our Exhibitions Graphic Designer, Kevin Parmer. We’ve added a nightscape to a previously plain wall, which adds to the calming and enveloping charm of this space. For our design team, this project was a playful departure from the many ongoing exhibition design projects in the Museum galleries.

Material samples used in the Arturo’s Nest redesign

There will be a new “nest” structure (coming soon) that will also function as a reading nook, and the daytime landscape will be dotted with interactives that engage our youngest visitors’ budding aesthetic sensibilities. We invite you to explore Arturo’s Nest upon its reopening!

Arturo’s Nest space before

Arturo’s Nest space after

Skye Malish-Olson is the Exhibition Designer at the DMA.

Finding Yourself at the DMA

As an art museum educator, I live for the tales of visitors who have had meaningful, inspirational, life-changing experiences in museums—perhaps because it was exactly this kind of personal experience that propelled me down the career path I’ve taken. Working in the Center for Creative Connections (C3), a participatory educational space for visitors of all ages, I have the privilege of hearing these kinds of statements often; however, a few months back I was surprised to hear from a visitor who literally found herself in a photograph by Geoff Winningham currently on view in the C3.

Geoff Winningham (artist), The Cronin Gallery (publisher), U.T. Cheerleaders, negative 1972, print 1976, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Prestonwood National Bank 1981.36.6

During a Late Night event, Laura was walking through C3 with her husband when they both stopped dead in their tracks as they walked by the photograph. “I think that’s you,” her husband stated. “I know it’s me!” Laura exclaimed.

I had so many questions for her. What was it like seeing yourself in a work of art in a museum? Did you know this photograph existed or that you were being photographed at the time? Can you recall the other cheerleaders in the photograph? Luckily, Laura was happy to meet up to discuss her experience.

As you might imagine, Laura was quite surprised to see a photo of her college-age self in the Museum. As a University of Texas cheerleader, she was aware they were photographed in action from time to time—once her image ended up as part of the opening montage of ABC’s Wide World of Sports for a full year—but she never imagined she would make it into a work of art in the DMA’s collection. Laura is uniquely well versed in the DMA collection, but until recently she had never seen this photograph before. Not only is Laura a DMA Member, but she was also part of the PM Docent class for five years, starting with the charter class under the leadership of Gail Davitt.

Both the University of Texas and the Dallas Museum of Art have loomed large in Laura’s life, but she never imagined that the two worlds would collide. In fact, UT Cheer isn’t just a distant memory as Laura regularly attends the Cheer Reunions and keeps in touch with fellow cheerleaders, including some of those captured alongside her in Winningham’s photograph. In the image below, the woman on the far right is the same woman on the far left of the UT Cheerleaders photograph by Winningham.

Now that Laura knows of the existence of this photograph, she comes back to visit it from time to time. She was also keen to meet the photographer, Geoff Winningham, and looked him up immediately to learn more about him and his work. Fortunately, Winningham was at the DMA in April to lead a Gallery Talk about the series this photograph is part of—A Texas Dozen.

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

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