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Friday Photos: Do Something New Practice with Bonnie Pitman

December 4, 2015

When was the last time you took a few moments out of an ordinary day to do something you have not done before? To visit a new place, savor a new flavor of ice cream, or simply to slow down and attend to the world around you?

Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, UT Dallas, and former Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, created her Do Something New Practice to explore just that: starting July 8, 2011, she set an intention to do at least one new thing, big or small, each day. We were fortunate enough to have Bonnie join us for a very special docent training to share her practice, the art of observation, and the magic of being fully present in the moment.

“You see, but you do not observe,” Bonnie reflected, quoting from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes before recommending Alexandra Horowitz’s On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes, a fascinating collection of essays exploring observation and perception. Now, I might be biased, but I think our docent team knows the DMA collection inside out. Could we really see in new ways and discover something new?

Bonnie challenged us to adopt the poses of two works of art in the Arts of the Pacific Islands Gallery. We started at the toes and worked our way up…and suddenly we made a discovery: one work speaks, raised hands emphasizing a round, open mouth, while the other work leans forward to listen! Deepening our understanding through playful attentiveness proved to be a delightful something new for the day. We can hardly wait for Bonnie’s next visit!

Try your own Do Something New Practice and explore chatty and attentive works of art here at the Museum!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Glow Babies

December 1, 2015

Pop! goes the art in our Art Babies classes. Take a peek at what we’ve been up to as we’ve explored the International Pop exhibition over the past few months. With its bright colors, oversized pieces, and recognizable objects, this exhibit is perfect for our littlest visitors. We’ve been counting pies and cakes, searching for hidden turkeys, and ooh-ing and ah-ing over giant French fries in our investigation of the paintings and sculptures featured in the show.

Inspired by the fun factor in Pop art, I tried something new for our sensory play session in the studio—glow in the dark play! We strung up twinkle lights, plugged in black lights, and used glow sticks throughout the room. With the overhead lights off, the studio turns into a magical place and creates a new environment for the babies to explore. At first the children are quiet, taking it all in. But as soon as they realize that they don’t have to take a nap, there are shrieks of laughter and lots of giggles as they shake bottles filled with water and immersible LED lights, crawl around on a shiny emergency reflective blanket, and try to catch bubbles. It’s a glowing good time!

If you’d like to join us next time, tickets for the January-March classes will go on sale December 3 at 10:00 am on our ticketing site.

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

Quick Craft: Pumpkin Pie Sculpture

November 26, 2015

Inspired by Wayne Thiebaud’s scrumptious pie paintings, I whipped up a little DIY activity for young art lovers to make their own pumpkin pie art (no baking required!).

Materials needed:

  • One paper plate
  • Orange tissue paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Glue stick (Elmer’s glue also works, but is a bit messier!)
  • Scissors


Step 1:

Cut your plate into 6 pie slices.


Step 2:

Cut tissue paper into small squares.


Step 3:

Glue tissue paper pieces down to paper plate slice. Overlap your tissue paper pieces until the flat part of the plate is covered, leaving the edge of the “crust” white.


Step 4:

Glue a cotton ball to the center of your pie slice for a dollop of whipped cream.


Tah-Dah! Experiment with using different colors of tissue paper to create other flavors of pie.

You can see some of Wayne Thiebaud’s delicious artwork in the exhibition International Pop, on view at the DMA until January 17, 2016.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Emily Wiskera
McDermott Graduate Intern for Family and Access Teaching


Friday Photos: Educators Night Out

November 20, 2015

Despite harsh weather conditions this past Monday evening, Educators Night Out saw great success! Teachers were invited to enjoy International Pop and Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots for free, along with snacks, drinks, tours, and a photo booth. The “Poptinis” and tiny cake pops were delicious, and the Pop-themed photo booth was a hit!

We made some new friends, and caught up with a few old ones too. We loved seeing all the awesome teachers in our galleries, and can’t wait to see you again soon!

Whitney Sirois
McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Finding the Art in So SMAART

November 17, 2015

Head of Community Engagement Maria Teresa Garcia-Pedroche and I spent a Saturday afternoon with the So SMAART girls, a group of motivated young ladies aged 9-12 who are “Set on Science, Math, Aviation, Art, Reading, and Technology.” Since its beginning in 2000, the So SMAART program has impacted more than 900 girls from Dallas public schools through various mentorship and after-school activities, all of which prepare the students for careers in STEAM fields including science, math, and the arts. Serving as the girls’ mentors are members of the Trinity Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, a volunteer service organization led by women of color from the DFW area who founded So SMAART to address the lack of minority female students pursuing STEAM careers.


Trinity Links and the DMA’s Community Engagement team

Throughout their visit, the So SMAART girls and their mentors explored the Center for Creative Connections, toured the African and Ancient American galleries, and created their own masterpieces in the Art Studio. These ladies demonstrated some of the ways the arts can impact and empower the next generation of scientists, engineers, curators, and everything in between:

  • Connect with Communities

The students and mentors contributed to an ongoing basket-weaving project, a response wall discussing personal traditions, and a larger-than-life drawing at the Interactive Gallery and Community at Large installation.

  • See Things Differently

Are those ordinary scraps of cardboard and twist ties, or are they the makings of the next Oldenburg? How does our presence change the way a space feels, functions, or sounds? Our visitors experimented with these and other queries at the Art Spot and the Young Learners Gallery.

  • Blast into the Past

Museum educator extraordinaire Amy Copeland and various DMA volunteers led the So SMAART girls through the African and Ancient American galleries, where they discussed the ways that past cultures and communities influence our current beliefs, traditions, and practices.

  • Make Your Voice Heard

As part of a national competition sponsored by The Links, Incorporated, the students channeled their creativity in the Art Studio to create posters raising awareness about nutrition and healthy habits. Isn’t it a bit easier to forgo the leftover Halloween candy when you’re looking at a solar system made of fruit?

Keep an eye out for these young ladies—we can’t wait to see where the arts will take them!

Paulina Lopez
McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement

Pop + Pollock = Party Time

November 14, 2015

Educators Night Out

Calling all Educators!

Do you hop for Pop?

Will a Pollock make you frolic?

Do you think Andy Warhol is souper?

Do drip paintings make your heart go pitter-splatter!?

Do you really, really love Pop Art and/or Jackson Pollock?!!

This Monday, November 16th from 5:00PM-8:00PM, the Museum is hosting an Educators Night Out. Spend an evening at the DMA with free admission to both International Pop and Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots during this exclusive event for teachers. Explore the exhibitions during guided tours and enjoy complimentary light bites, a cash bar, half-price parking in the DMA garage, and more!

Registration is required, so RSVP now!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

With co-conspiring punsters:
Emily Wiskera
McDermott Graduate Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Whitney Sirois
McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Friday Photos: Silly Sensory Sack

November 13, 2015

Sensory sacks, also called “spatial socks” or “body sox”, are a popular form of therapy for those with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism. This easily sewn stretchy lycra sack helps develop spatial awareness, as the wearer is able to feel the fabric’s resistance against his or her body.

Here at the DMA, we experimented with using sensory sacks as a tool to learn about other bodies in space– sculptures!

Emily Wiskera strikes a Lady Godiva inspired pose

Constantin Brancusi, Beginning of the World, c. 1920, marble, nickel silver, and stone

Whitney Sirois acts out Brancusi’s marble egg.


McDermott Graduate Intern for American Art, Erin Pinon, poses on the second floor landing.


Emily Wiskera learns to empathize with modern sculpture.

Artworks shown:

  • Anne Whitney, Lady Godiva, c. 1861-1864, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. Alessandra Comini in memory of Dr. Eleanor Tufts, who discovered the Massachusetts-backyard whereabouts of this long-forgotten statue and brought it to Dallas.
  • Constantin Brancusi, Beginning of the World, c. 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
  • Figure of a woman, Roman Empire, 2nd century A. D., Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil H. Green.
  • Henry Moore, Reclining Mother and Child, 1974-1976, lent by the Henry Moore Foundation © The Henry Moore Foundation

Emily Wiskera
McDermott Graduate Intern for Family and Access Teaching


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