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Friday Photos: All Saints’ Day

October 31, 2014

This time of year, it feels as if the city is overflowing with costumes, jack-o-lantern’s and trick-or-treaters! But in all the festivity, many of us tend to forget the origin of the holiday. Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ (Saints’) Eve, was historically a day for Christian worshipers to pray and prepare themselves for November 1, All Saints’ Day, a feast day dedicated to all the saints and martyrs of Christianity.

The DMA has a large number of artworks that depict saints, ranging in time period and media. I would like to take this occasion to highlight some of my favorites, from St. George slaying a dragon to St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters.

For more information on any of these saints or works of art, check out the DMA Collections webpage! And from all of us here at the DMA, enjoy your All Saints’ Eve and Day!

Liz Bola
McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Art Beyond Sight at the DMA

October 28, 2014

October is nearly over and at the DMA we have had another fun month of Art Beyond Sight programing. This is our eighth year of presenting programs related to Art Beyond Sight and many of our programs focused on exploring works of art using senses other than vision. Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month, sponsored by Art Education for the Blind, is celebrated by over 250 cultural institutions all over the world and focuses on the idea that everyone must have access to the world’s visual arts in order to fully participate in his or her community. At the DMA, we hope to not only make our programs welcoming to visitors of all abilities, but to specifically raise awareness of making art accessible to people with vision impairment.

John Bramblitt talking about his artistic process with visitors in the studio.

John Bramblitt talking about his artistic process with visitors in the studio.

This year several of our programs for families, from First Tuesday to Arturo’s Art and Me related to Art Beyond Sight themes. Children had the chance to experience tables full of various textures and smells on First Tuesday and explore the galleries on a family tour focused on the senses. Toddlers explored texture in the African Art gallery and learned about Braille and raised line drawings. Even Arturo’s Nest, our space for children aged four and under, was stocked with toys and interactives that highlight the senses.

For several of our programs, we welcomed artist John Bramblitt, who has collaborated with us on ABS programming for the past 5 years. We love having John as an integral part to our programs; he is a favorite summer art camp special guest and often a featured artist at past large Museum-wide events. This year, John gave a gallery talk with an overview of his process as a painter who is blind. John focused on the way that he integrates music, texture, and even taste into his artwork. John brought several paintings and invited visitors to look closely–even to touch, something that is rare in an art museum!

John also helped to lead Meaningful Moments, our program for visitors with Alzheimer’s disease. This is John’s fourth year to be a part of the program and he is definitely a crowd favorite! This year, we focused on immersing participants in a sensory experienced focused on two paintings in the American galleries. John shared how he integrates a sense of place into his landscapes and then participants described the paintings in detail to John, as he sketched their descriptions onto a Styrofoam sheet. Over the years, I have noticed that visitors give some of the best and most detailed descriptions of artwork when asked to share their thoughts with John–and his drawing of the described painting certainly amazes! To help immerse visitors into each artwork, we played related sounds, shared scents that connect to the paintings, and passed around tactile objects inspired by the works. In the studio, participants used numerous materials with a range of textures to create their own textural landscape.

For both Late Night Studio Creations and our homeschool program, John helped us to explore artwork with music. In the studio, participants listened to different elements of the same song (vocals, piano, or the percussion instruments) and imagined a color for the song before creating a shape or design with oil pastel using their chosen color. After gluing their shapes to a larger piece of paper, John played the song in its entirety and invited visitors to imagine a color for the song. Visitors used watercolor paint to paint over their shapes to create their own musical-inspired artworks. The process of cutting shapes and piecing them together was inspired by one of John’s recent studio experiments of cutting up and reassembling dried paint. For the homeschool program, we linked the musical studio activity to the galleries through a discussion with John about a painting by Georgia O’Keeffe that was inspired by music and movement.

We have had so much fun with John this October for an enjoyable month of sensory exploration. For more information about the Art Beyond Sight programs at the DMA, please click here.

Amanda Blake
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences

Friday Photos: FAST Fashion

October 24, 2014

On Wednesday, members of the Family, Access, Schools and Teachers (FAST) team were lucky enough to take an educational field trip to Denton to visit the Texas Fashion Collection (TFC), housed on the University of North Texas campus in the College of Visual Arts & Design. Curator and Director, Myra Walker, gave us a behind the scenes tour of the collection, which preserves and documents more than 15,000 items of historically significant fashion. The collection was first assembled in 1938 by Stanley and Edward Marcus, of Neiman Marcus fame, and exists today as an educational resource for students, researchers, and the general public who have a passion for great design and a love of fashion history.

During our visit, we walked through rack after rack of historical and designer clothing, dating from the 1840s up to contemporary times from designers like Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, and Betsy Johnson. Our visit concluded with a viewing of American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity, TFC’s current exhibition on view at the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts. The exhibition included forty wedding gowns, dresses, and ensembles dating from 1840 to the present, which emphasized the various significant bridal traditions that were handed down through time and culture.

Our field trip was a wonderful experience and we were grateful to be able to play the role of student while visiting the amazing Texas Fashion Collection!

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Make This: Printing T-shirts with Inkodye

October 22, 2014

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I love screen printing–there’s something so satisfying about creating a design and wearing it proudly for everyone to see. I also love learning new printing techniques, so when I ran across a product called Inkodye about a year ago, I knew I had to give it a try. Produced by a company called Lumi, Inkodye is a photosensitive dye that allows you to print an image onto fabric using only a photo negative. When exposed to sunlight, the ink develops and binds permanently with the fibers of the fabric. You can even use Inkodye to create shadow prints!

tumblr_mi2tbcppku1s3h59no1_1280 I’m going to take you through the basic process of creating a print using Inkodye and a photo negative. Keep in mind that while the examples on Lumi’s website look perfect and make it seem easy to do, it will probably take several tries to get it to turn out the way you want.

What You’ll Need:

  • T-shirt to print on
  •  Inkodye
  • Transparency film for copiers (at least two sheets)
  • Copier/printer
  • Computer
  • Foam brush or sponge
  • Two large sheets of cardboard
  • Masking tape (optional)
  • Laundry detergent

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Step 1: Create your design

I wanted to create an example for the teen t-shirt design class and contest that the DMA is offering, so I created a drawing on my iPad that was inspired by a work of art at the Museum:

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Eccentric flint depicting a crocodile canoe with passengers, Pre-Columbian, 600 – 900 A.D., Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Mrs. Alex Spence

flint1I then manipulated the image using Microsoft Word, but any basic editing program would do–even better, Photoshop, if you have it:

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Leaving my image as above will create a reverse, or negative print on my shirt–the white space around the faces will be black and the faces themselves will be white. If you want to make a positive-image print, you’ll have to create a negative of your design (Photoshop allows you to do this, or you can use Lumi’s handy app to make one):

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Step 2: Print two copies of your image on transparency film

Lumi says that it’s important to use two copies so that they can be stacked on top of each other during the printing process. This will make the dark areas of your image block out more light, increasing the contrast of your print and giving you a better end product.

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3. Prep your t-shirt for printing

Insert one of your sheets of cardboard into your shirt to prevent the ink from soaking through. The cardboard should be big enough that it stretches the fabric of your t-shirt and gives you a good printing surface. Choose the area of your shirt where your image will be printed. If you want, you can mask the area off with tape to give your design a clean edge.

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4. Spread the Inkodye onto your shirt

This is one of the trickiest steps. Flip off the lights for this–since Inkodye is photosensitive, you don’t want it to start developing yet. Working in the darkened room (but with enough light to see what you’re doing!),  cover the printing area with a thin, even layer of dye–don’t get it too wet! Use your sponge or brush to blot the fabric. Cover your t-shirt with the second sheet of cardboard and take it and your design outside!

5. Print your shirt

Find a nice sunny spot to lay your t-shirt down. Uncover it and position your transparencies on top of the printing area. Leave everything undisturbed for the sunlight to do its magic. In about 10-15 minutes (depending on how cloudy it is) your print should be developed! When you’re satisfied with how it looks, cover your shirt back up to prevent overexposure and take it back inside.

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This is what my design looks like after 10 minutes in late afternoon sun–as you can see, the edges are starting to fully develop and turn black.

6. Wash

Remove the masking tape from your t-shirt as well as the cardboard insert. Throw the shirt into the wash by itself with a little detergent and run it using a hot cycle. Lumi suggests washing it twice for full color-fastness; washing also removes all excess or undeveloped dye.

7. Wear!

I’d suggest practicing with a scrap piece of fabric before printing on your t-shirt. If your print is a little blotchy, it probably means that the Inkodye wasn’t spread evenly enough. For lots of great project ideas and in-depth tutorials, visit Lumi’s website! And if you have a teen who’s interested in participating in the t-shirt design class or submitting something for the design contest, feel free to email me for more information.

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

Friday Photos: C3 In Bloom

October 17, 2014

Though the weather is getting cooler and the leaves will soon be falling, here at the Museum, the Center for Creative Connections is in full bloom!  In conjunction with the DMA’s upcoming exhibition Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse, we have updated our monitor wall to display visitor submitted photographs of flowers. We’ve also stocked the Art Spot with supplies to make flowery creations.

Stop by and make a flower to add to our garden of creations, or join our Flickr Group, DMA In Bloom and submit your flowery photos to have them displayed on the monitor wall. We look forward to your blooming creativity!

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

New Family Fun: Arturo’s Library Totes

October 14, 2014

If you’re a regular blog follower, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I love picture books {proof here, here, and here}. So it should be no surprise that I’ve been working on getting more picture books into the hands of our visitors! I think stories and art are perfect partners, especially for young children and am thrilled to announce the launch of a new gallery activity for families here at the DMA. Drum roll please… announcing Arturo’s Library totes!

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Arturo’s Library totes can best be described as a storytime-to-go. The totes are designed particularly for families with children ages two to five, and include a picture book, a deck of activity cards, and materials for hands-on activities.

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With our friendly mascot Arturo as your guide, you can take the tote into the Museum galleries and use the contents to explore a specific work of art. The debut Arturo’s Library tote is all about lines—wiggly, squiggly, zig zaggy, straight lines—and coordinates with Place de la Concorde, by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.

Piet Mondrian, Place de la Concorde, 1938-1943, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation

Piet Mondrian, Place de la Concorde, 1938-1943, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation

Using the bag is simple—find the work of art in the galleries, plop down on the floor, and try one of the suggested activities in the activity card deck. There are four categories to choose from—READ, LOOK, PLAY, and LEARN MORE.

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Lines that Wiggle by Candace Whitman is one of my favorite books to use when talking about lines in art. The illustrations are cheerful, bright and sometimes silly, and the text has a beautiful rhythm to it.

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After reading the book, you and your child can LOOK at the lines in the Mondrian painting and compare and contrast the artist’s lines to those you found in the book.

If you’re in the mood for drawing, follow the directions on one of the PLAY cards and create your own Mondrian-inspired masterpiece or try your hand at a squiggle drawing.

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If you’re more of a 3D type of artist, use pipe cleaners to craft a squiggle sculpture to take home with you.

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Then take some time to learn a little more about Piet Mondrian and his unique painting style.

Each activity has minimal instructions, is easy to dive right into, and offers a fun way to spend a little more time with a work of art. Over the next year or so, we’ll introduce new book themes and new activities, so that you can explore the Museum from top to bottom. Is one of your favorite books up next? Cast your vote to let us know which book you would be most excited to see next in an Arturo’s Library tote!

On your next visit to the DMA, be sure to stop by our Family Fun Cart at the main museum entrance and check out one of the new Arturo’s Library totes!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

 

 

Friday Photos: Educator Block Party 2014

October 10, 2014

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My colleague and office pal Amy Copeland and I had the pleasure of spending Thursday evening at the Meyerson Symphony Center for this year’s Educator Block Party. Over twenty cultural institutions participated at this event, including the Sixth Floor Museum, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the Dallas Holocaust Museum, to name only a few! It was wonderful getting a chance to chat with teachers, administrators, and homeschool instructors from around the Metroplex over the course of a relaxing evening. If you missed it this year, we hope to see you at the gathering next time around!

Josh Rose
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

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