Posts Tagged 'teens'

CosPlaying at the DMA


This week, teens have been experimenting and creating through group and solo challenges during our Urban Armor: Cosplay Challenge Camp. Each challenge allows this group to learn new concepts and construction techniques to use in their final costume design which they showcased this afternoon in the Museum galleries. Inspired by last year’s Zombie Camp, this year’s group was visited daily by experts from various professions that they may want to pursue like film and fashion. One of the returning campers from last year, a student at Booker T. Washington, said “this (the Urban Armor camp) is the only camp that I sign up for every year because it’s so awesome. I love it.”

So if you’re in the DMA galleries this afternoon, don’t be surprised if you run into a superhero or two.


DMAxTAC = Super Late Night

The Teen Advisory Council.

The Teen Advisory Council

If your tour guide looks a tad younger than expected during this month’s Late Night on Friday, June 19, chances are you’re meeting one of the amazing members of the Teen Advisory Council (TAC). You’ll see others as well—decked out in black and festooned with capes—leading art activities and scavenger hunts, helping with haiku slams and performances, and having a great time with visitors throughout the night.

The masterminds behind the evening’s activities, the TAC has spent the past three months working on the first-ever teen-planned Late Night in DMA history. Their vision for the event not only reflects their ideas for what the Museum can offer but is a collaboration that I hope will only continue to grow.

I caught up with some of the council members to ask them about what this opportunity has meant to them and what they hope visitors will experience on Friday:

Q: What activity has been the most fun or the most challenging to plan?

“The most difficult activity to plan was probably the scavenger hunt because if one detail is off then it can throw off the entire scavenger hunt. At the same time, planning this was a lot of fun because we got to choose the different works of art ourselves and make up the clues. We really got to take charge of this activity, and I think it’s cool that a group of teens was able to pull off such a task.” —Maddi

Teen Council members collaborate with Eliel Jones on his Alternative Signage event during the March Late Night.

Teen Council members collaborate with Eliel Jones on his Alternative Signage event during the March Late Night.

Q: What do you hope visitors take away from this evening?

“I hope that visitors will gain a greater appreciation of the Museum as a whole, in particular through the DMAzing Race, as it offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the Museum. I also hope people meet others with the same interests as them and gain new friends in the process, especially teens who will have a separate lounge area for themselves.” —Cristina

“I hope the new visitors to the Museum see how the Museum is actually very different from the normal museum experience and how they can interact and be a part of the Museum just as any artist can.” —Maddi

“I want the visitors to leave saying ‘I’m glad I came to this’ and learning something. They could learn about anything at the Museum, even about themselves. So, I want the visitors to learn, about anything they want.” —Nadir

The Teen Council experiments with a Creativity Challenge idea.

The Teen Council experiments with a Creativity Challenge idea.

For me, it’s been a blast to watch the TAC execute their ideas and see how much fun they’ve had in the process. I’m amazed at how undaunted they’ve been throughout the process given the magnitude of this project (maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet?) and how many moving pieces there are. You can check out the full schedule of events for Friday’s Late Night here.

I couldn’t be more proud of all the hard work they’ve put in, and I can’t wait to see how visitors respond. Super!

JC Bigornia is the C3 Program Manager at the DMA.

Makers Made

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Now in its fifth month, Maker Club is a free drop-in program for ages 13-19 that asks, “What happens when art, science, and technology mix?” Capitalizing on the popularity of the Maker movement and incorporating elements from STEAM education, Maker Club is a combination between open studio and led workshop that explores a different theme each month.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Experimentation and open-endedness rule the day as traditional art materials and tech-based supplies are thrown into the ring together. Past projects have included creating a Makey Makey mini-arcade, making found-object sculptures from discarded electronics, and using electro-luminescent (EL) wire and glow-in-the-dark screen-printing ink to make light-up clothing and accessories.
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Since no experience is required to take part, Maker Club also provides an opportunity for teens to learn and “level up” a variety of skills–from new artistic processes and creative problem solving, to circuit building, soldering and more. Group learning and collaboration is also a happy by-product of this process; oftentimes, the adult facilitators are learning just as much from the students as vice versa.
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So why have a maker-type program in an art museum? To me, the ideas aren’t mutually exclusive, but rather complementary. In the latest issue of Make magazine, Don Undeen, manager of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MediaLab, writes that all artists are, in fact, makers, and that museums have the potential to be a living forum where the two groups can talk to and inform one another.

There are even makers in the DMA’s collection, and those artists inspire the Makers Club members. Martin Delabano’s Family Portrait gave one teen the idea for this found-object sculture (pictured below). See how many makers you can spot in the DMA’s collection on your next visit.
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Martin Delabano, Family Portrait 1963, 2001, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Lorine and David H. Gibson, and Sonny Burt and Bob Butler

JC Bigornia is the C3 program coordinator at the DMA.

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