For our Urban Armor workshop this month, we focused on different printmaking techniques. We made some awesome block prints using linoleum blocks that we carved and ran through the printing press. We also played around with collagraphy, a fun and easy technique that you can do at home without a press or any other expensive materials.
In collagraphy, you collage an image to create a “plate.” You will then transfer the image from the plate by coating it with ink and pressing it against a new surface. The effect you get is different from a block print–it won’t be as clear, but you’ll get a neat, atmospheric-type of image. Keep in mind that, since you’re creating the plate out of paper, it won’t be as durable as linoleum or other materials, which will limit the number of times you can use it. Remember too that your print will be a mirror image, so if you plan to include text, make sure that it reads backwards on your plate.
What you need:
- Collage materials (scrap paper, magazines, fabric scraps, etc., but nothing too thick)
- A pair of scissors or x-acto knife
- A pencil
- Heavy paper (heavy drawing paper, watercolor paper, cardstock)
- Smooth paper for printing (copy paper works in a pinch)
- Gloss medium
- Printing ink (I use water-based ink, available at craft stores)
- Brayer (optional)
- Paper plate for spreading ink
- Baren or large spoon for burnishing
- Scrap cloth or paper towels
Step 1: Make your plate
Create a collage on top of your piece of heavy paper–this is the image that will be printed. Experiment with layering things on top of each other; this will give your print different effects. Let the glue dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Seal your plate
Cover the entire plate with a thin layer of gloss medium. This creates a durable, smooth surface that will give you a good ink transfer and allow you to use the plate multiple times.
Step 3: Ink your plate
When your plate is dry, coat the surface with ink. You can do this with a brayer: put a dime-sized amount of ink on your paper plate and then roll it out with the brayer. Now roll the inked brayer across the surface of your image. If you don’t have a brayer, no worries! I dipped a paper towel into my ink and then wiped it onto my plate–it worked just as well. Whichever method you choose, be sure to wipe off excess ink in areas you don’t want printed using your scrap cloth or paper towels.
Step 4: Print your plate
Flip your plate face-down onto your piece of smooth printing paper. Using your baren or spoon, burnish the back of the plate. Then, carefully peel it away from the printing paper. Voila! If you want to print in a different color, wipe your plate off with a damp paper towel.
Remember that printmaking is an experimental process. Prints created from the same plate can look vastly different depending on how much ink you use, the pressure you apply when burnishing, etc. Part of the fun for me is not knowing exactly how each print will turn out! So I encourage you to make as many prints as you can, experiment, and have fun!
C3 Program Coordinator
Summer fun continues at the DMA with our Summer Art Camps for kids. All camps offer unique experiences for campers by visiting Museum galleries, participating in activities, and creating art! This week, some of our campers learned about artist Jackson Pollock and then created their own action paintings in the studio. Other campers created Cubist still lifes. And our Art to Go campers used their “telescopes” to find nature in different artworks.
If your child is interested in art and would like to join us for a week of fun, we still have a few spaces available in the following camps. Visit our Summer Art Camp page to find out more and register online.
June 17-21, 1:00-4:00 pm
MasterPeace (ages 9-12)
Lights, Camera, Action (ages 9-12)
July 22-26, 1:00-4:00 pm
Around the World: Music and Art with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (ages 9-12)
August 5-9 and August 12-16, 9:00 am-12:00 pm (2 week camp)
New World Kids (ages 5-6)
McDermott Intern for Family Experiences
This past Sunday, we took a field trip to The Fairmont Dallas to visit artist Riley Holloway in his studio. The Artist-in-Residence program initiated by The Gallery at The Fairmont hosts artists from all over the nation for three months. During their residency, the artist works in an on-site studio on level zero of the hotel on a body of work that will then be shown in the gallery upstairs. Guests of the hotel and anyone walking through downtown are invited to stop by and visit the studio. The program was established in 2010 with the goal to support the arts community and has hosted twelve artists to date.
The current artist-in-residence is L.A. born and Texas raised artist Riley Holloway. Holloway developed a passion and hunger for the arts from his artist mother, who gave him magazines and tracing paper at a young age to teach him proportions. His parents believed in his dreams of becoming an artist and encouraged him to study portraiture at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy in 2011. His passion and dedication to his craft is evident in his work. Often, he can be seen exploring the collection at the DMA to inform his work.
I brought a group of twenty adults from the Center for Creative Connections adult audience to Holloway’s studio to meet him, ask questions, and look at his artwork, his studies, and his incredible sketch books. They were amazed at his talent, his humility, and his ability to explain his artistic philosophy and influences. We were also very captivated by his poetry, which is written all over the studio walls and even in his latest work. Holloway will have his first-ever solo show at The Gallery at the Fairmont on June 28. To hear more about Holloway, check out this video or visit him in the studio before he leaves on the 28th.
We are excited to announce that Riley Holloway will be leading a C3 Artistic Encounter life drawing workshop on July 21st from 1:30-3:30 p.m. here at the DMA as part of our DallasSITES: Available Space programming. Click here to register for the class.
And I hope to see you at our next C3 Artistic Encounter on June 27 for lively conversation and an interesting hands-on project with guest artist Brittany Ransom.
C3 Program Coordinator
Where in the world can you see a llama wandering around ancient ruins, take a boat across the largest lake in South America, and eat cuy (guinea pig) for dinner? Peru!
I recently took a trip to Peru to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It was my first visit to South America, and since the Museum’s family mascot Arturo is from Peru, I thought it might be nice to take him along with me so that he could visit his homeland. He wasn’t very good at giving me directions, but we still had a good time.
Our first stop was Lake Titicaca—the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world. Arturo didn’t have any troubles at all, but when I first arrived, Peru literally took my breath away. Lake Titicaca is 12,507 feet above sea level, while Dallas is only 430 feet above sea level—that’s a big difference! Hiking around the island of Taquile, we could see all the way to the mountains of Bolivia.
Next stop: Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The Inca people built Cusco as the capital of their empire and created the city in the shape of a puma. Today Cusco is a mix of Inca ruins wedged between Spanish Colonial churches, cobblestoned streets, trendy restaurants, and llamas, llamas everywhere! My favorite part of Cusco was the food. We went to the market and discovered a fruit call lucuma. It tastes like butterscotch and caramel!
There are many archeological sites around Cusco, and one of Arturo’s favorites was Moray. There we discovered these huge circles dug into the ground. We aren’t sure what these were made for, but scholars guess that they might have been used for experimenting with growing different crops. Can you find Arturo?
Finally, it was time to hike the Inca Trail—which was definitely the highlight of the trip. We hiked a total of 38 kilometers (about 23 miles) over the course of four days to reach the ancient city of Machu Picchu. On day two, we went over the highest point of the trek—a mountain pass called Dead Woman’s pass at an elevation of 13,829 feet. Arturo got a free ride in my backpack, so it was no trouble for him, but I was definitely sore after going up and down more than 5,000 Inca steps. On day three, we had incredible views of the mountains and started hiking through the cloud forest.
We finally reached Machu Picchu on the last day just as the sun came over the mountains, and it was breathtaking. These ruins were discovered by the outside world in 1911 when Hiram Bingham, a professor from Yale University, was guided to the site by local farmers. Most scholars believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Incan emperor, but our trail guide thinks that perhaps it served as a university of sorts.
Regardless of its ancient use, we were very excited to get there and were in awe of what the Inca people built. I think everyone should jump at the chance to visit Peru, but if a visit there is not in your near future, come to the DMA and take a look at our collection of Ancient American art–You’ll just have to imagine the mountains and llamas!
Manager of Early Learning Programs
Summer is finally here! And there is no better way to spend that free time than to visit the DMA and take advantage of our engaging summer programs. Throughout June and July, visitors can explore works of art in the Museum’s galleries through sketching, family tours, story times, interactive games and more! There is no need to pre-register for these activities–just show up and enjoy them for free!
And if you participate in our free DMA Friends program, you can earn the new Summer Family Fun Badge when you attend one tour, one story time, one sketching in the galleries, and one family game. We’ll see you soon for some summer family fun!
When I visited Dallas for the first time, my number one must-see destination was The Sixth Floor Museum. I have been fascinated by the Kennedy family since I was nine years old, and I felt compelled to make a pilgrimage to Dealey Plaza and the former Texas School Book Depository. What I didn’t realize is that many Texans, including a large number of the DMA’s docents, have never been to The Sixth Floor Museum. That changed last week, when a group of docents and I ventured down to the West End to explore The Sixth Floor Museum as a group.
The timing for our field trip couldn’t have been better. Just last week, Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy opened at the DMA. This exhibition brings together thirteen of the sixteen artworks that were placed in Suite 850 at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth. The President and Mrs. Kennedy slept in Suite 850 on November 21, 1963–the night before his fateful trip to Dallas. The original installation was created over the course of five days by a small group of art collectors in Fort Worth. Works by Picasso, van Gogh, Marsden Hartley, and Thomas Eakins decorated the suite’s living room and two bedrooms. The DMA is marking the anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination by bringing these works back together for the first time in 50 years.
The docents and I explored Hotel Texas together before traveling down to The Sixth Floor Museum. Once we were there, we were greeted by the museum’s chief curator, Gary Mack. Gary spoke with us about his time at The Sixth Floor Museum, including his role in curating the museum’s main exhibition: John F. Kennedy and the Memory of a Nation. After speaking with Gary, we were free to explore the museum at our own pace. This was my fifth visit to The Sixth Floor Museum, and every visit is powerful and moving. This visit was even more special, though, as I listened to the docents share their memories of where they were on November 22, 1963.
For those of you who participate in DMA Friends, we have launched a new JFK Badge in conjunction with the Hotel Texas exhibition. To receive this badge, you only need to visit The Sixth Floor Museum and the Hotel Texas exhibit at the DMA. Show your ticket stub from The Sixth Floor Museum to our Visitor Services Staff to receive the code. We hope to encourage our Friends and visitors to take this unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of history through these exhibitions.
The DMA and The Sixth Floor Museum have also teamed up to offer a special experience just for teachers during a full-day Teacher Workshop on Thursday, June 27th. The Kennedys in Texas: The Art and History of November 22, 1963 will begin at the DMA in the Hotel Texas exhibition. After breaking for lunch, we’ll spend the afternoon at The Sixth Floor Museum. Registration is now available online–just select “Teacher Programs” to sign up. We hope to see you there!
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs
Ever wonder what happens to the responses left behind in the Center for Creative Connections (C3)? As a member of the C3 team, I’m one of the people who reviews these visitor contributions. One of my favorite activities is the doodle pad on our yellow clipboards. On these doodle pads, there are six drawing squares that each offer a light line drawing as a starting point for visitors to begin their own creation. I love to see how our creative visitors each bring a unique perspective to this activity. For today’s post, I pulled some of my favorite responses to the square based on the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Watch the slideshow below for a quick peak into the creative minds of C3 visitors. Stop by next time you’re at the DMA and contribute your own creativity!
C3 Gallery Coordinator