Posts Tagged 'Late Night'

Experiments on Public Space

As part of my time as a McDermott Intern in Education at the DMA, I was given the opportunity to carry out an independent project. Experiments on Public Space (EPS)started with the aim of evaluating and measuring “publicness” through a research approach that is grounded in artistic practice. From the beginning, the project hoped to contribute to the Museum by initiating an active reclaiming of publicness of the institution through the creation of opportunities for thought, transformatory participation, and active discussion. By doing this, the project’s ambition for the DMA was, and is, to exemplify and animate what it means to be a public museum in the 21st century.

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The decision to focus on the issue of publicness is responsive not only to the field of art and culture but also to a globalized context in which our notion of democracy and democratic space is constantly being tainted and distorted. The project is a result of my past research, and my belief that performance art and participatory projects have the ability to provide social, political, and/or personal experiences.

The project launched during the February Late Night with Gesture—Tribute to Tania Bruguera, an unannounced performance that placed Museum visitors in crowd control situations. The piece was the first attempt at creating a space in which to ask participants to explicitly consider the differences between public and private, control and freedom, access and limitations.

The second experiment, Alternative Signage, took place during the March Late Night. This program, which was the result of a collaboration with the DMA/Perot Museum of History and Science Teen Advisory Council (T.A.C.), was also a performance piece where I and a group from the T.A.C. intervened in Museum spaces by installing alternative signs that were conceptualized and designed over a period of three months. The signs reworked and reimagined the ways text, symbols, and signage can influence participation and experiences, and therefore overall publicness.

I Am a Monument… is the third of four experiments that constitute EPS. The program involves a series of workshops that were held during the Museum’s Studio Creations program with guest artist Giovanni Valderas; visitors worked collaboratively to build a temporary monument recognizing and celebrating the Latino community of Dallas. The workshop itself becomes a gesture of coming together to celebrate and participate in this building of relationships between communities. The unveiling of the monument, in the shape of an arch, will create a passageway that represents the desire for mutual understanding and the welcoming of the Latin American community. See it revealed on the Ross Avenue Plaza during this month’s Late Night on Friday, April 17!

Experiments on Public Space will come to a close with a fourth and final program, a panel discussion titled when “public” becomes a verb…, which will bring together four speakers to present a series of visual statements produced in collaboration with the DMA and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science Teen Advisory Council (T.A.C.). The panel discussion will take place during the May Late Night on Friday, May 15, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Center for Creative Connections Theater.

Poster 1 of 4 - Example

For EPS, each program was conceived as a way of collecting “data on publicness” of the Museum. The results of these “experiments” will be on display at the Center for Creative Connections beginning on April 17. Visitors will become evaluators of this data, providing their thoughts and comments and an overall measurement of the individual issues of publicness explored in this project through a series of interactive activities in the space.

Eliel Jones, McDermott Education Intern for Visitor and Community Engagement at the DMA.

Austen Abounds

It all started last year when a colleague sent me a link to a portrait we have in our collection of Jane Austen, done by Austen’s sister Cassandra. This colleague knew I was an Austen fan and wanted to see if I was aware that we had this in our collection. I had no idea!

After Cassandra Austen, Jane Austen, n.d., engraving, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg

After Cassandra Austen, Jane Austen, n.d., engraving, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg

I shared this awesome news with other Austen fans on staff, which led us to think about how great it would be do a Jane Austen-themed Late Night. Around that time, we also heard that the Dallas Theater Center would be doing a spring production of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Voilà, an Austen Late Night was born.

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We brainstormed a lot of ideas, researched speakers who had talked at local and national meetings of The Jane Austen Society of North America, and met with staff from the Dallas Theater Center to talk about connections to their production.

After months of planning, we are excited to see the event take shape, and we invite you to join us for our Jane Austen Late Night on Friday, March 20, from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. You can hear music from the Romantic era, learn about the fashion world of Jane Austen, watch a Victorian fencing demonstration, listen to a dramatic reading by Dallas Theater Center actors, take quizzes to test your knowledge of all things Austen, watch films, including the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice staring Laurence Olivier, and learn how Kate Rorick helped modernize Austen for the digital age.

Secret Diary LB Cover

For those of you who like to bring the world of Austen to life, we invite you to come dressed as your favorite Jane Austen character or in a costume inspired by England’s Regency era for a chance to win great Austen-themed prizes, including a pair of tickets to the Dallas Theater Center’s production of Sense and Sensibility. Baronda Bradley, a specialist in Regency fashion, will judge the contest, starting at 8:30 p.m.

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Our March Late Night is also our annual Spring Block Party in the Arts District. There will be a lot to do that evening with the Nasher Sculpture Center and Crow Collection of Asian Art also staying open until midnight.

And, for anyone needing an Austen appetizer, there are still tickets available to see Jo Baker, author of Longbourn, at tomorrow night’s DMA Arts & Letters Live event.

I hope to see all my fellow Austenites on Friday!

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.

Of Jewelry and Jazz

On Friday night we celebrated the exhibition From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith with a night of performances, talks, art making, and more inspired by Art Smith during the busiest August Late Night we’ve ever had, with more than 5,500 visitors! The Dallas Black Dance Theatre, along with the Stockton Helbing Trio, performed a premiere of a new work to a full house in a piece inspired by the jewelry of Art Smith. Visitors lined up throughout the evening to create their own jewelry in the Center for Creative Connections, there were plenty of human pretzels in Yoga for Kids, and the Atrium was alive all night with music from Mahogany the Artist, Rebel Alliance Jazz Ensemble, and The Funky Knuckles.

If you missed Friday night’s fun, you can still celebrate Art Smith throughout August (all for free!); check out the events online, including Thursday’s Jazz in the Atrium with Mahogany the Artist.

Murder Revisited

Last year, over 700 visitors participated in our Museum Murder Mystery Game during Late Night! If you were one of those determined detectives, you found out that it was Winston Churchill who killed Eros, the God of Love, in the Silk Road gallery with the Scepter from the Asian galleries.

And while justice was served last year, we have it on good authority that during our next Late Night on Friday, July 18, there will be another murder!

It will be up to our visitors to solve this third Museum Murder Mystery by figuring out who the murderer is, the weapon he or she used, and the room where the murder took place.

For one night only, the seven works suspected of the murder will come to life and answer your questions. Without revealing who the suspects are, as they are innocent until proven guilty, these photos will give you a clue to their identities.

In addition to the Murder Mystery Game, there will be a lot more mysterious and fun things to do during the Late Night; be sure to check out the full schedule of events.

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.

The Forecast Calls for Stars

Before there were Xboxes and smartphones, TVs and radios, and even theater and literature, people sought entertainment in other ways. Among those activities was the experience of star gazing. The endeavor was a social one, often involving conversation and the creation of folklore around oddly shaped objects that observers conjured up in the stars above.

Though the same stars hang above us today, those interpretive experiences are few and far between. But a group of graduate students from the University of Texas at Dallas are working to change that. Their interactive activity, the Constellation Game, brings back the experience of campfire conversation and celestial storytelling. Visitors, or “players” of the game, are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild as they use a motion controller to “draw” their own constellations in a projected night sky. They can even invent their own myths around their creations.

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This Friday, we’re excited to have the Constellation Game set up on our Ross Avenue Plaza for our monthly Late Night. In preparation for Friday night’s activities, we took the opportunity to ask Spencer Evans, the lead programmer behind the experience, a few questions about the Constellation Game.   

How did you come up with the idea for the Constellation Game?

SE: In many ways, the idea we initially came up with is actually far off from what we have now. It was a very vague idea that evolved organically, and was refined based on players’ impressions and our realized goals. We are big fans of games that fit in the play space between arcade, art gallery, and museum exhibition pieces, and we wanted to create something in that same space. We are also very passionate about storytelling and mythology, and we wanted to revive that act of storytelling around shapes perceived in the stars, which seems a bit lost and forgotten today. To that end, it was also important to us to create an accessible interface and interaction that people today can understand.

How does the experience work?

SE: The core player experience is to create and draw constellations in an almost connect-the-dots like way in a shared space. Players do this with a motion controller while lying down, looking up at the stars of our night sky projected onto the ceiling, and discussing with others the meaning of the shapes created. Our design was focused on storytelling, social interaction, and creative expression. And, we strove to create an experience that closely resembles the relatable, perhaps nostalgic, real-world act of lying down outside and pointing up at the stars. We feel this is something that comes through in the way players interact with it, and the immersive atmosphere we try to create.

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What have you learned by watching visitors interact with the installation?

SE: We have learned that it is very much a group experience, not just the one or two players currently interacting with it. It is the audience participating as well. Everyone tends to explain or argue about the shapes they are seeing, and share their personal interpretations that they, and others, have made. We have learned that players tend to enjoy exploring the star-field—the space in which they can draw constellations—before they create their own. They want to see what others have created first, and see which star clusters or historical constellations they recognize.

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If you want to make your own constellations, you can play the Constellation Game between 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. this Friday. We’ll also have numerous other activities, performances, tours, lectures, and more! Find the full schedule here.

Betsy Glickman is Manager of Adult Programming at the DMA.

 

Celebrating Friendship: The First 12 Months of DMA Friends

The DMA Friends program turns a year old this month, and what a year it’s been! Our DMA Friends have helped reshape the way people visit the Museum—collecting points and badges—and the experiences they have at the DMA. There are so many highlights that we decided to recap some of the greatest hits of the past 12 months.

January – Let’s Get This Party Started
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We launched the DMA Friends program, as well as our return to free general admission, with a day full of free activities on January 21, 2013. By the end of that first day, we had over 800 new friends. New DMA Friends have continued to join with enthusiasm—in fact, we welcomed the largest number of DMA Friends between December 26 and 31. Happy Anniversary, DMA Friends!

February – Busy Bees
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The first full month of our new gallery activity, the Pop-Up Art Spot, was very pop-ular. DMA Friends love taking a creative break in the galleries with inspiration from the DMA’s collection. The Pop-Up Art Spot is currently the most popular activity for DMA Friends.

March – Rewarding Rewards

Lacey with her red hat

With all of their visits, activities and check ins, DMA Friends started raking in their points quickly. Our first high value reward, Dinner and Movie, was redeemed only two months after the launch of DMA Friends. It was the first of many special rewards redeemed this year, including the Art Beauty Shoppe reward, which you can read more about here.

April – Cindy Sherman Doppelgängers
April
We encouraged DMA Friends to test their creativity with our Cindy Sherman Super Fan activity. DMA Friends grabbed their wigs, costumes and cameras and tweeted their interpretation of Cindy Sherman for extra points and a bonus badge. DMA staff even got in on the fun—see more here.

May – Hera, Medusa and Zeus. Oh My!
May

Throughout the year, DMA Friends have had the opportunity to earn special limited-edition badges. In May, those who came to Late Night dressed as their favorite Greek hero received the Midnight Masquerade Badge, not to mention some adoring and impressed fans.

June – Indonesian Celebration
The DMA celebrated the award-winning catalogue Eyes of the Ancestors: The Arts of Island Southeast Asia at the Dallas Museum of Art with a week of activities, which was right up our DMA Friends alleys. The DMA’s Asian Galleries received the most visits by DMA Friends, with over 18,000 check-ins!

July – The President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy
July
We were halfway through our presentation of the DMA-organized exhibition Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy in July. This exhibition was the most visited exhibition of 2013 by DMA Friends.

August – Into the Deep
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The DMA Friends reward Into the Deep was featured in the Dallas Observer in August. Since the launch of DMA Friends, 26 guests have explored the Museum’s art storage by redeeming this exclusive reward.

September – Coast to Coast
In September, we received great news: the DMA was awarded an IMLS grant to help fund the expansion of a platform of engagement based on the DMA Friends program to partner institutions, including the Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Stay tuned this year for exciting news as their plans develop.

October – Late Nights, High Numbers
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Ten months into our program, we reached over 30,000 new DMA Friends! And they loved October’s Late Night, when we welcomed the largest number of new DMA Friends during our monthly event.

November – Overnight at the Museum
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Ten DMA Friends visited exhibitions, attended lectures, created art at the Art Spot and more to earn 100,000 points since the launch in January. Those DMA Friends and a few of their buddies were the first people to ever spend the night at the DMA. Read about their fun overnight adventure here and start saving your points now!

December – Feeling the Love
DMA Friends are making news around the world! In December, The Economist magazine put the spotlight on DMA Friends with its “How to Win Friends” article on the program.

Celebrate the first year of DMA Friends, as well as the DMA’s 111th birthday, this Friday during Late Night. We have a lot of fun events in store, including a few surprises for DMA Friends! Check out the Late Night schedule here to start planning everything you want to do.

If you aren’t already a DMA Friend, be sure to sign up for the free program on your next visit.

Kimberly Daniell is the manager of communications and public affairs at the DMA and Sarah Coffey is the assistant to the chair of learning initiatives at the DMA.

Cindy Sherman Transformed

On Friday, DMA Late Night visitors stopped by the Tech Lab to dress up and pose in a Cindy Sherman-like scene. Check out their transformations in these photographs taken by Greenhill School photography students and visit the Cindy Sherman exhibition to find the inspiration for the backdrops in the photos below. Stop by the Tech Lab during the Late Night on May 17 to participate in a Body Beautiful-themed Late Night Art Bytes, in celebration of our exhibition The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum.

Because so many visitors stopped by the photobooth, we are still editing images. Check the DMA’s Flickr page throughout the week to see new additions to the group.

Transform yourself at home into Cindy Sherman to earn the DMA Friends Super Fan: Cindy Sherman Badge! Find out how on the DMA Friends Highlights page.

Jessica Fuentes is the C3 Gallery Coordinator at the DMA.


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