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Local Art Luminaries Bringing Art to the Masses

by Stephen Becker 12 Jan 2011 2:30 PM

At a cocktail party Tuesday night at the Dallas Museum of Art, the talk was all about how the visual arts can find new audiences. And by the end of the night, plans were in place.


On Tuesday night, the Dallas Museum of Art held a cocktail party for local visual arts movers and shakers. The purpose was to show off two new DMA shows: “Big New Field: Artists in the Cowboys Stadium Art Program” (which takes up the museum’s temporary exhibition space) and “Re-Seeing the Contemporary: Selected from the Collection” (which takes up the barrel vault and its adjoining four-pack of galleries).

Curators Jeffrey Grove (“Re-Seeing”) and Charlie Wylie (“Big New Field”) discussed their respective shows before turning the mic over to the star of the night, Gene Jones. While I’ve heard her husband speak on everything from press conferences to Papa John’s commercials, this was the first time I’d ever heard his better half.

And that’s a shame.

Ms. Jones spoke at length without notes about the process of putting together the Cowboys Stadium art collection and about her desire for the collection to reach people who may not otherwise be exposed to art.  She then went on to talk about a stadium employee who got turned on to art after helping to install the collection. I wanted to shout out, “Tune into KERA tomorrow morning for more!” seeing as that the employee she was referring to is Phil Whitfield, the subject of my story this morning.

On my way out, I took a quick swim through “Re-Seeing the Contemporary” and ran into Kenny Goss and his sister-in-law, Joyce. (Geez, this is starting to read like an Alan Peppard column.) Anyway, I mention this because Kenny and I got to talking about all the events coming up tied to the Super Bowl, chief among them the Goss-Michael Foundation-organized Prince concert on Feb. 4. The event will raise money to help the foundation connect students with its contemporary collection. Kenny told me that in speaking with educators around town, the main reason why more students aren’t exposed to art is because the bus rentals are too expensive for cash-strapped districts.

Then, today I get this press release from the Goss-Michael Foundation about a new program it’s starting called “Artventure,” which seeks to remedy that problem. Keep reading for the details:

DALLAS (January 12, 2011) – Beginning this month, The Goss-Michael Foundation introduces ARTVENTURE, a new educational initiative, in its efforts to educate, engage and inspire the students of Texas.

The Goss-Michael Foundation will pay the bus fees for teachers who would like to bring their students to view the permanent collection and rotating exhibition spaces as well as participate in educational events held at the Foundation.

The Foundation has set aside $5,000 from its annual budget for this initiative, and funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to teachers who schedule a tour or arrange for their students to participate in a Goss-Michael Foundation educational event.


•Tours are offered free of charge and can be scheduled by contacting the Foundation’s Educational Programmer, Lindsey Walls.

•Tours are available Tuesday through Friday, from 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and last approximately 45 minutes.

•Led by a member of the Foundation’s curatorial staff, the students will experience a guided tour of the permanent collection and rotating exhibition spaces.


•The Foundation also offers regular artist talks and lectures to students and educators.

•With each new exhibition, The Goss-Michael Foundation has the exciting opportunity to welcome the featured artist(s) to Dallas.  Since 2007, the Foundation has had the privilege of hosting leading British artists including Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Richard Patterson, Michael Craig-Martin and Jeremy Deller.

•While here, the artists attend book signings, give tours of their exhibitions, participate in public lectures, and even hold public art demonstrations or performances.  Dates for upcoming artist talks and lectures are listed on the Foundation’s Web site.


•The Foundation also hosts events that encourage students to tap into their creativity.  Saturday Sketch Days are held on specific weekends throughout the rotating exhibition schedule.

•On select Saturdays, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., attendees have the opportunity to experience a brief tour of the current exhibition and sketch their impressions of the featured works.


•The annual Student Art Contest is another great event that inspires students to create their own artwork.  A new theme is chosen for the contest each year, and participation is open to all high school students in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who are enrolled in the 9th through 12th grades.

•Students can enter work in one of four categories: Painting, Drawing, Photography and Mixed Media.  Finalists’ work is displayed at the Foundation in a special, two-week student exhibition.

•Monetary prizes are awarded to one contestant in each of the four categories.


•The Goss-Michael Foundation also offers four scholarship opportunities to high school graduating seniors interested in pursuing a college education in music or visual arts.

•Two scholarships are awarded to students graduating from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, one scholarship is awarded to a student graduating from a local Dallas/Fort Worth high school, and one scholarship is awarded to a student graduating from a Texas high school outside of the Metroplex.

•All scholarships are merit-based in the amount of $5,000 and applied toward tuition at the student’s chosen college or university upon acceptance.