This will be a special Mother’s Day for our friend Melissa–she just welcomed a precious new addition last month! Baby Eva was born on April 18 at 8:04 am, weighing 7 lbs 14 oz. Both mama, dad, little brother Elijah, and baby are fabulous and enjoying their time together! Check out this little cutie:
We want to recognize all the other moms out there this weekend too, so stop by our Center for Creative Connections on Mother’s Day for a special gift: we’ll be giving out booklets of responses to our artwork Starry Crown, containing words of wisdom and insight contributed by our visitors.
Happy Mother’s Day!
This week — May 4th through 8th — is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Originally designated as National Teacher Day in 1953 through the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt, the holiday became a nationally recognized day in 1980, then extended to a full week in 1984.
We have many different types of teachers here at the Dallas Museum of Art, ranging from Education staff, Docents who give tours, and trained volunteers who lead programs off-site as part of Go van Gogh®. We wanted to take a moment to thank all of our many wonderful teachers, and share some photos with you of a few of them at work.
Teachers make such a huge impact in our lives and in the lives of our children. Take a few moments this week to recognize that special teacher who has touched your life, or who brightens your child’s each day. A handmade creation is always a perfect way to say thank you–make a paper flower bouquet or check out this list of other fun thank you DIYs to try!
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs
This week, the McDermott Interns came one step closer to completing our time here at the Museum. As part of the program, each intern is required to give a Gallery Talk on any topic of their choosing, and this past Wednesday, Eliel’s discussion on radical Italian art marked the last of our talks! Here’s a look back at a few photos and the gamut of topics we discussed:
Samantha Robinson, McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern for American and Decorative Art: Modern Opulence in Vienna: The Wittgenstein Vitrine
Laura Sevelis, McDermott Curatorial Intern for European Art: Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse
Fabian Leyva-Barragan, McDermott Curatorial Intern for Contemporary Art: Latin American Modernism
Elisabeth Seyerl, McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern for African and Asian Art: Indonesian Textiles
Jennifer Sheppard, McDermott Education Intern for Family and Access Teaching: All That Glitters: Ancient Greek Gold Jewelry
Liz Bola, McDermott Graduate Education Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching: Race & Religion: Henry Ossawa Tanner
Taylor Jeromos, McDermott Education Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live: Queering Art: Moving Beyond Identity
Eliel Jones, McDermott Education Intern for Visitor Engagement: Arte Povera: Mario Merz and Michelangelo Pistoletto
I hope that these few photos help you imagine what it would have been like to attend our talks if you missed them! And don’t forget that Gallery Talks happen every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. and are always free and open to the public. Keep an eye out for upcoming talks – they might just cover your favorite topic next!
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching
Thursday, April 23, was National Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day. This year, I observed the day by bringing my daughter Julia to the Museum. She had the opportunity to help with daily tasks, attend meetings, attend a workshop, and participate in a Star Wars themed photo shoot… All in a day’s work at the DMA!
C3 Gallery Coordinator
Our docent corps is a group of over 100 dedicated volunteers who are responsible for touring thousands of visitors through the Museum each year. DMA docents have a deep knowledge of the collection and work to craft their tours based on the interests and ages of their audience. And this past year we initiated our first group of DMA Access Docents–volunteers who expressed an interest in helping with DMA Access Programs, in addition to the groups they were already touring!
We began the program by meeting with a group of eight Access Docents each month to discuss access programming best practices and learn successful communication and teaching strategies for visitors with special needs. We welcomed a guest from the Alzheimer’s Association to share general information about Alzheimer’s and an autism specialist from TWU to speak about autism.
This year, our training was more hands-on and consisted of observation and team teaching. The Access Docents primarily help with our Meaningful Moments for Groups and All Access Art programs. Many of the docents volunteered with these programs throughout the year and got to know several of the regular participants.
We’ve found that offering Access Program opportunities to our docents is a great way to share teaching responsibilities, which allows us to schedule more programs than we’d be able to if we only relied on staff. It is also a wonderful chance for staff to get to know the docents better and learn from them. We meet often throughout the year to touch base, brainstorm upcoming program themes, and share teaching strategies.
Access Docents have shared with us the joy they feel when forming relationships and interacting with people from the same groups each month. Many of them have also mentioned that their access work has enriched their school tours: they re-purpose information and gallery games and incorporate them into tours. Since school tours generally don’t include a studio activity, many of the Access Docents have enjoyed the chance to use hands-on materials, integrating art-making into the Museum experience.
We are thrilled to have such a passionate group of specialized volunteers helping us to teach our Access Programs!
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences
On April 10, the DMA hosted hundreds of high school students and teachers from all over the Metroplex for High School Film Day, part of the Dallas International Film Festival hosted by the Dallas Film Society each year during the month of April. Students were given the opportunity to learn from filmmakers and other professionals about the film industry by listening to panel discussions and completing hands-on workshops in the Museum’s galleries to perfect their filming techniques and improve their acting skills. Below are a few images from the day!
Looking forward to next year!
Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming
Let’s hear it for the kids! This week (April 12-18) is Week of the Young ChildTM. Never heard of it? The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) established this annual tradition in 1971 to “focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.” This year’s theme is “Celebrating our Youngest Learners,” and here at the DMA, we love nothing more than doing just that!
In honor of Week of the Young Child, I thought I’d share what we love most about the children who have become part of our DMA family over the years.
They are honest.
In preschools across the country, teachers often refer to the children as “friends.” So rather than calling out “boys and girls” when it’s time to leave the playground, you might hear someone say “all my friends—it’s time to go!” I often use this language in the Arturo’s Preschool classes I teach here at the DMA. One morning as we were sitting in front of Frank Gehry’s Easy Edges chair, I asked “Friends—what material do you think the artist used to make this chair?” Without missing a beat, a little boy looked me square in the eyes and said, “I’m not your friend!” Ouch! I laughed and did my best to win him over by the time we went down to the studio. I love knowing that four year-olds will give it to you straight!
They are curious.
Another admirable trait I often see in the preschool crowd is that they are excited about pretty much anything! Wherever we go in the galleries, they always want to make sense of what they see and figure out how it connects to their own lives. Once during a class focused on the art of ancient Egypt, I asked the children to imagine what life would have been like with no TVs, no electricity, no cars. One little girl piped up with all the authority of a wise three year-old, “they used cans and strings, right?” She cleverly deduced that if the Egyptians didn’t have the kinds of phones we have today, they must have used tin cans and strings to communicate! She wasn’t deterred by the concept of “long ago and far away”—but instead, she found a way to relate abstract ideas to her concrete reality. Brilliant. (And I just love the image of Pharoah calling down to his court on a tin can).
They are open-minded.
Young children are incredibly willing to entertain new ideas and explore new possibilities in art. While an adult might look at a painting and ask “why is this art?,” children move beyond “why” and ask “how,” “where,” “when” and “can I try it too?” This month we’ve been learning about the artist Pablo Picasso and Cubism. Inevitably, when I show the children a cubist portrait, they giggle and say “that’s a crazy face!” But then they take a closer look and are delighted when they find the nose and ears and eyes and can explain what the artist did to surprise us.
They are creative.
You can’t help but feel the buzz of creativity and the energy of little fingers at work when you step into an early learning studio class. Whether they are painting with their feet, concentrating on sewing stitches onto burlap, or experimenting with watercolor, young children are fearless when it comes to making art—something I think we can all aspire to. They dive in, not concerned about doing it “right” or making it look “just so.” They enjoy the materials for what they are, and love to see what paint or markers or paper or their own two hands can do! And when they’re done, they can’t wait to show off their work and tell you all about it.
This year, April 16th is Artsy Thursday, so grab your crayons and paint, and celebrate the young children in your life!
For more ideas on how you can celebrate Week of the Young ChildTM, check out the resources and suggestions on the NAEYC website.
Manager of Early Learning Programs