Tag Archives: Arturo’s Art & Me

Art in the Park

Check out this fairy house on ActiveKidsClub.com 

This month during the Arturo’s Art and Me class, families focused on nature and were able to enjoy the newly opened Klyde Warren Park that is right across the street from the DMA. Danielle led children and their grown-ups on an imaginary journey into the world of fairy houses. Fairy houses have become quite popular in the past couple of years – many speciality garden and landscape stores now sell teeny-tiny plants and accessories just for fairy houses. Fairy houses, or fairy gardens, are small installations made completely from natural materials created with the idea that fairies and woodland creatures to visit, rest, and even inhabit.


During the Arturo’s Art and Me classes, the children explored two landscape paintings and imagined all of the different types of creatures that could be lurking in the woods in these works of art. Danielle read Fairy House by Tracy Kane and taught the children all about respect nature.


Using images of unicorns, skunks, trolls, squirrels, gnomes, fairies, and rabbits, the children had a discussion about which ones were real and which might be imaginary. Not all of the kids were convinced that unicorns were imaginary, but they were all glad that trolls were! Families used Model Magic to create their own creature – it could be anything, real or imaginary. There were several fairies, a couple of gnomes, many snakes, and even a puppy.


After making our creatures, we determined that these new friends needed a place to call home and traveled over to the Park to find a suitible spot. At the Park, each family received a bag filled with twigs, leaves, pinecones, seashells, acorn tops, raffia, and rocks to construct a nature home for their creature. Families spread out in the Park to build their fairy houses.

ImageSome built their houses in the children’s area of the Park (including one fairy house built inside of a concrete tunnel!), others found a place for their house at the base of a tree trunk or in a bush, while a few families spead out on the lawn to build their constructions out in the open. When families were finished with their creation, they packed up their nature supplies so that they could reinstall their fairy house (or snake house, dog house, or bunny house) at home!


Posted by Amanda


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Friday Photo

Arturo’s Art & Me goes to Mexico!

For the entire month of September, Arturo’s Art & Me is exploring the art of ancient Mexico! Families tour The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent exhibition and use the beautiful artwork as inspiration for a hands-on art-making activity in the Center for Creative Connections studio.  The kids create their own version of a codex–a special kind of book that has many folded pages–which tells a story only through pictures (just like the Children of the Plumed Serpent did!)

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Happy Trails to You!

Watercolor wonder in the Art Studio

This year I met, worked, taught, and learned with many amazing children & their families, adults with special needs, staff educators, and guest artists who are all the bright shining stars of the Family Experiences programs.  What a meaningful year! As I complete my McDermott Education Internship in Family Experiences and Access Programs this week, here’s a look at a few of the many DMA education experiences I hold close to my heart.

How is it that kids know just what to say?

Here’s a heart-warming keeper that I’ll cherish forever. A young buckaroo wearing a snappy new bandana he had just embellished in the Studio, sporting head-to-toe western flare for July Howdy Texas! First Tuesday, sauntered right up next to me that busy day. He tipped his hat and out of the blue exclaimed, “Happy trails, ma’am”!  I loved it, and I didn’t even mind the “ma’am” part. I don’t remember what I said in response, but I’m absolutely sure it was said with a huge smile. How fitting that this young visitor’s two words would wrap up my internship adventure with endearing style the way Dale and Roy Rogers wrapped up their beloved shows in the 1950’s! And wouldn’t you know we were standing in front of the exhibition of works of art by George Grosz, who painted watercolors scenes of Dallas in 1952. Perhaps he would have approved of this bit of Americana!

Thanks to the ARC for a wonderful year!

The ARC of my heart

Our wonderful partnership group from the ARC of Dallas always showed me how to be in the moment, be a better listener, and to see more than I imagined. The March surrealist gallery program with a focus on the subconscious, began with a “random” poetry activity; it was more than we dreamed! Everyone really got into the intentional yet random action of tossing the paper strips of words in a gesture similar to action painting. They loved creating poems by connecting the words aloud after the words landed on the “canvas” placed on the floor. I had no idea that this expressive action poetry activity would result in so much clapping, laughing, fun, joking, and poetry magic! The activity was repeated during a wide variety of programs including homeschool classes and Meaningful Moments, the access program for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Each experience was very unique. I learned how to focus the experiences on the individual needs of visitors of all ages and abilities. I’m such a fan of the Surrealists now!

Beautiful Gele headwear created during a Meaningful Moments program

An especially Meaningful Moment

Individuals and caregivers challenged by the effects of Alzheimer’s are very dear to me. As we wheeled, shuffled, or held on to each other for support walking through the galleries, I got to know many people individually during monthly Meaningful Moments group visits.  Our time together revealed snippets of amazing life stories of artists, world travelers, and those who helped support and even establish the DMA. Everyone is sweet, funny, and kept me on my toes! One especially meaningful visit was a personal group tour of the Reves Collection from a gentleman who actually worked with Wendy Reves to help secure the collection for the DMA! The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection is featured in a variety of programs and is always a favorite!

Oceans of fun at the Tiffany windows

Miss Mary, Miss Mary!

Little did I know that I would receive such a fancy new name from the young museum visitors! Not only did they give me a cherished teacher name, but they helped me grow as a new educator and as an artist.  I was inspired by all of the children, especially those who participated in the monthly Arturo’s Art & Me, homeschool, and HIPPY programs. We grew in confidence and curiosity together as we explored works of art in the galleries and created our own works of art in the Studio. The unencumbered creativity and fresh ideas of the young visitors who regularly attended Arturo’s Art & Me classes inspired me to look at works of art in new ways through themes of pets, neighborhoods, design, Japan, colors, America, music, and Dallas.

Arturo’s Art & Me printmaking fun!

There are MANY more moments I could share! My special thanks to all of you for making this year so special.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.

Happy Trails by Dale Evans Rogers

Posted by: Mary Jordan

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Friday Photo: Painting to Music

In the Art Studio during Arturo’s Art & Me, young artists created their own jazzy paintings as they listened and responded to different types of music.

Posted by: Mary

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Friday Photo: Purr-fect Pets

Miss Leah and friends in front of Thomas Sully’s Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, 1843, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation.

We had a paws-atively perfect time spotting our furry friends in works of art on Level 4 during our Arturo’s Art & Me classes this week!

Posted by: Mary

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Friday Photo: Design Time!

During Arturo’s Art & Me this week, we explored the idea of design in the Form/Unformed exhibition on Level 4, and created our own design-a-room shoeboxes in the C3 Art Studio!

Posted by: Mary

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Friday Photo: Rollin’ with our Senses!

During our Arturo’s Art & Me class, our friend and artist John Bramblitt showed us how to see our sytrofoam contour drawings with our sense of touch!

Squish, roll, roll, print! We made lots of colorful prints from our styrofoam drawings!

Posted by: Mary

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Filed under Arturo, Center for Creative Connections, Children’s art, In the galleries, Parents