As part of our McDermott Internship, each intern is able to request funds to use for professional development–this can go towards a language class, visiting other museums to learn more about their practices, or events like conferences. This year, some of us decided to attend the National Art Education Association Conference in New Orleans.
Always on board for some intern bonding, we decided to drive the 8 hours from Dallas to New Orleans. This was a great start to our trip, which has only gotten better since our arrival in the Big Easy! We’ve had a great time attending sessions, visiting local museums (New Orleans Museum of Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Contemporary Arts Center) and learning more about the field of museum education. Here are just a few pictures of our trip so far!
We’re looking forward to bringing the knowledge and new ideas we’ve heard at the conference back to the DMA!
McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching
Last week, my little guy and I attended Art Babies. We started the class in our exhibition, Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga, exploring the large, abstract works of art. He smiled and kicked his little feet, so I could tell he really enjoyed the bright and engaging colors!
Color is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot when it comes to his diet–the more colorful the better! As you might have expected, I enjoy making food for him at home, so I wanted to share a simple recipe that you could try, inspired by the deep and vibrant colors in the exhibition. Be sure to bring your little one on your next visit, then make some colorful food for him or her to enjoy at home–you’ll be feeding his body and his mind! If you’re brave, you might even let him paint his high chair tray–at least you’ll know the paint is safe to eat!
Original recipe. And of course, be sure to always check with your pediatrician on the appropriate diet for your special little one.
This February was a milestone for the DMA education team: we celebrated the fifth anniversary of two of the Museum’s most successful access programs: Autism Awareness Family Celebrations, which currently serve over 900 visitors from North Texas each year, and Meaningful Moments, designed specifically for individuals with early stage dementia.
Furthermore, we announced the expansion of our access programs to include All Access Art, a program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Developed from the DMA’s long-running partnership with the Arc of Dallas advocacy group, All Access Art will now provide art-infused experiences to a wider selection of special needs groups in the DFW area, including Special Abilities of North Texas, Connecting Points of Park Cities, and Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI). During these visits to the Museum, participants explore the galleries on a theme-based tour and then return to the Center for Creative Connections Art Studio to create their own work of art.xc
We are thrilled at the expansion of this program and look forward to sharing more images and stories of our fantastic experiences with All Access Art!
It’s the middle of March, meaning I’m well into the seventh month of my McDermott internship, and I have to say that the charms of working in a museum still haven’t worn away. I don’t know that they ever will! Part of what I love so much about my position as part of the Family and Access Teaching team is that I have gallery time built into my schedule. I’m out in the galleries multiple times a day: teaching classes, leading occasional tours, doing research for lesson plans (and blog posts!), and taking walks as a break from my desk.
After each trip through the Museum, the thought creeps into my head that, “Okay, now I’ve seen everything we have on view,” and yet time and again I’m proven wrong. Without fail, there’s always something I haven’t noticed before – something I have to stop in front of and think, “Has that always been there?” before investigating. The piece is often small or–at first glance–plain. Frederic Edwin Church’s Icebergs certainly isn’t a piece you can miss, nor is everyone’s favorite rain god, Tlaloc. These are the pieces that can catch your eye from a mile away. Today, however, I’m here to encourage you to spend a little extra time in the corners you might normally overlook, by sharing a few pieces that I passed by on so many occasions and have now come to admire.
Incised bone depicting an accession ceremony, Maya, A.D. 600-900
This fragment of bone, only 3 1/4 inches tall, was meticulously incised over a millennium ago with the scene of a young man being crowned king. The about-to-be ruler sits in the lower right of the piece, and opposite him a man raises “the great headdress of Holy Lordship,”which, according to the Museum’s label, bears the image of a mythical bird called ‘Itzam-Yeh,’ ‘The Magic Giver.’ The significance of Itzam-Yeh’s presence in this scene is rooted in the story of the bird; in short, he claimed to be something much greater than he was and was found out and punished for it. The headdress, so decorated, would serve both as a reminder and a warning to the new king.
Chess piece, India: Punjab Hills, late 18th-early 19th century
This chess piece, made of gilt and polychrome ivory, is another incredible work of delicate craftsmanship. The details are what make the piece so impressive–for example, each of the three men riding the elephant have distinct features and carefully carved beards. Some of the fine black lines are so thin and precise that they would have required a very steady hand wielding a paintbrush with no more than a strand or two of hair. This particular piece would have been used as the king–can you imagine how grand the entire chess set must have looked?
Ring with engraved carnelian, Roman, first half of 3rd century A.D.
This silver ring was probably worn by a man. In the gallery, the ring is so small and the carving is so fine that the details can be hard to see without careful, close looking (the Museum’s online collection comes in handy during moments like this–there are many high-quality photographs that let you zoom in and examine a small piece like this ring with ease). To the left stands Oedipus, the king in Greek mythology who murdered his father and married his mother, unaware that they were his parents. Carved into the Museum’s carnelian is a scene from later in his story when Oedipus saves Thebes from the Sphinx by answering her riddle. The craftsman that made this exceptionally small carving was clearly remarkably skilled–I can’t imagine the patience and quiet attention that went into the creation of this ring.
These are just three of the small, wonderful pieces I’ve discovered in the galleries, and I can’t wait to see what I run across next. So remember: on your next trip to the Museum (or any museum) yes, you absolutely should pay attention to the standout pieces–the Icebergs, the Tlalocs–but don’t forget to give the little guys their due. You’re bound to be surprised by what you find.
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching
The DMA galleries have been filled with family fun this spring break! Approaching the end of our color-themed week is like finding the end of a rainbow – full of colorful smiles! Families have searched for color in artworks on family tours, chased rainbows through stories in the galleries, played with light and color mixing, and had hue-filled family competitions in the galleries. In our studio, groups have enjoyed using ink pads to create colorful fingerprint creatures.
For staff, one of the most enjoyable parts of spring break has been watching our rainbow wall evolve as visitors add their own colorful additions. Check out the bright and cheery progress from the week:
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences
As the weather improves outside, we’re enjoying a colorful Spring Break here at the Museum! Be sure to stop by this week and join in the fun!
Check out our full schedule of programs here: https://www.dma.org/SpringBreak
Originally posted on Dallas Museum of Art Uncrated:
Whether you’re feeling blue, seeing red, or chasing rainbows, this year’s Spring Break week at the DMA will have something for every hue! We’re kicking things off on Saturday, March 7, with our friends at the Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center and throwing a day-long party filled with art making, music and dance performances, yoga, and lots of art!
Need a little more color in your world? Daily family fun at the DMA will continue March 10-13. Take a spin on the color wheel and enjoy story time in the galleries, family tours, art making in the studio, family competitions, and more all week long.
We invited a few of our favorite families to come take a sneak peek at what we have planned for the week and give us their colorful commentary.
The Paintbrush family had a mauvelous time searching for color in the…
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This month in the Arturo’s Art & Me class, we are introducing preschoolers to the art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga. The kids were thrilled to learn about artists who sought to break the “rules” of making art and couldn’t wait to try it themselves.
We were inspired by the Gutai group’s maxim of making art that has “never been done before” by painting with our feet, throwing paint-soaked pom poms onto canvas, and pouring paint down our papers. Messy? Yes! Fun? Absolutely!
Manager of Early Learning Programs