News and Features

Art&Seek Jr: Baby It’s Hot Outside! 6 Ways To Beat The Summer Heat

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

Okay, so we’re right in the middle of one of those rare, wonderful “cool spells” where we’re lulled into the belief that we can actually go OUTSIDE without the risk of spontaneous combustion. The high for Saturday is forecasted to be 89 degrees and the low is projected to be a positively frosty 70 degrees. But while you’re outside this weekend romping about in this glorious respite from the heat, keep this in mind–You live in Texas, it’s summer, and the temperatures will likely return to triple digits next week. Add to that, most outside play will cease to be an option for the munchkins once temperatures return to “normal.” Metal slides and little tushies are never a good mix during summer months, if you get my drift.

A good plan of action is to keep a list of inside activities handy, so when the kids start up the whiny chorus of, “it’s too sweaty outside, mommmm!” you’re armed and ready. Here are a few activities to help you through the dog days of summer.

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The High Five: Tori Amos Performs Tonight In Dallas

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Tori Amos performs tonight in Dallas. (Pieter Morlion/Flickr)

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a Dallas teen’s smartphone catches fire; a huge tortoise escapes and wanders to White Rock Lake; Tori Amos performs tonight in Dallas; and more:

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The High Five: Lifetime Network Cancels Show Featuring Controversial FW Funeral Home

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Decomposing bodies were found inside the Johnson Family Mortuary. Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Fort Worth prays for Kent Brantly, who has Ebola; immigrant children won’t arrive in Dallas County by the end of July; Eric Nadel is honored for his Texas Rangers announcing; and more:

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Saturday Spotlight – Turn Up! with Sound and Silence

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1741For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re learning about the science of sound and silence at the “Turn Up!” event, presented by Big Thought. Head to the Dallas Public Library’s Pleasant Grove Branch to hear a performance and learn a little something from an opera-singing duo currently competing on “America’s Got Talent.” Enjoy music and storytelling, try out a new instrument, and show off your own talents during an open mic.

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Is Art Good For You?

rachel2editRachel Nash in her Deep Ellum gallery. All photo credits: Jerome Weeks

The Crow Collection of Asian Art has been expanding, adding a sculpture garden, moving its gift shop. It’s also expanded its mission. The art museum is addressing the links between art and health – and so is a brand-new art gallery in Deep Ellum.


This week, Rachel Nash gave a lecture at the Crow Collection. Back in February, Nash opened a storefront art gallery in Deep Ellum. It’s unlike any other gallery around. In front, as you might expect, there are artworks on the walls. It’s in the back where Nash holds her art therapy sessions. Many Texans have never heard of art therapists, let alone met one. The North Texas Art Therapy Association lists only 12 full members.

Nash says, there’s a simple reason: “There are very few art therapists in Texas because there are no grad schools around.” Most of the art therapy graduate programs are clustered along the East and West Coasts, with one or two others in places like New Mexico.

Nash herself graduated from SMU in psychology and got her master’s in art therapy at the Art Institute of Chicago. She’s a licensed professional counselor and a registered art therapist — Texas requires both credentials before a person can practice art therapy. Nash may have such professional credits — and the Art Therapy Credentials Board may have set standards and provided such board certification for decades — but she says many people, when they meet her, say the term ‘art therapy’ just makes them think of playing with clay and finger paints. It’s more than that, more serious than that, Nash says, but that kind of directed play is, in fact, one of her tools.

“Sometimes,” she says, “play disarms fear, and when you disarm fear, especially for, say, children with trauma and serious trauma or abuse, then you’re getting them into a place where they can really start to learn and change behaviors. You can’t get that when they’re operating out of fear and anger.”

In her lecture at the Crow Collection, Nash explained some of these basic approaches in her practice. Which begs the question: Why is an art museum presenting a talk on therapy? Or another one on the health benefits of Asian cuisine?

Amy Hofland is the museum’s executive director. Turns out Hofland originally studied to be an art therapist. But including Nash in the Crow’s lecture series didn’t come from her personal interest.

“We have really begun to embrace wellness as a large part of our program at the Crow,” she says. “And I’ve come to believe in this deep connection between looking at art and being well. And I think in this world of stress, museums can really be an oasis, kind of the quiet place.”

In addition to its series of wellness lectures, the Crow Collection hosts classes in yoga, t’ai chi, meditation and qigong, the Chinese exercise practice and martial art. And now the museum may be moving beyond just hosting such things in its galleries.

“I’m slowly hoping to build a wellness center here,” Hofland says. “You could say we already are one with classes every day of the week. But I could also see a physical space in perhaps an empty part of Trammell Crow Center here on the mezzanine [where the Crow's administrative offices are], a place for meditational classes, yoga, and my dream would be acupuncture.”

rachelwideWhen it comes to her clients, Nash says art can provide more than a quiet place. Art is something we draw or build or paint. It taps into things beyond our verbal skills, our defensive rationalizations. It’s physical evidence of what we feel. In her Crow lecture, Nash told the story of one client, a 55-year-old depressed woman, an alcoholic. Nash had the woman draw herself.

“She did a series of self-portraits. And each week they got more beautiful,” Nash recalls. She hid the portraits, so each week the woman started from scratch. And then, after two months, Nash laid them all out for her client.

“And she looked at them and stood back and thought, ‘Wow, that’s a big difference. I had no idea.’ So art-making allows for a very tangible evidence of progress.”

Hofland says the hope is such lectures and classes can provide audiences with insights into their own well-being. But it’s also simply in the museum’s interest to encourage a more reflective approach by visitors.

“The average visitor doesn’t spend enough time with art,” she says. “I think it’s like four to six seconds. So we’re teaching a practice of how to look and what to see and how to tap into curiosity. And if we can teach people how to lower their blood pressure, how to handle stress, I don’t see why a work of art isn’t a great place to start.”

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The Big Screen: Talking ‘About Alex’ With Its Richardson Producer

BigScreen_logoSMALLIn About Alex, college friends reunite when one of the group’s members attempts suicide. The film was produced by Richardson native Adam Saunders, who talks to us this week about why these small dramas are making a resurgence in Hollywood.

Be sure to subscribe to The Big Screen on iTunes. Stream this week’s episode below or download it.

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Flickr Photo Of The Week

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Congratulations to Joseph Haubert of Dallas, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest! Joseph is a multiple winner of our little contest. His latest win came just last May. He follows last week’s winner, Sonja Quintero.

If you would like to participate in the Flickr Photo of the Week contest, all you need to do is upload your photo to our Flickr group page. It’s fine to submit a photo you took earlier than the current week, but we are hoping that the contest will inspire you to go out and shoot something fantastic this week to share with Art&Seek users. If the picture you take involves a facet of the arts, even better. The contest week will run from Monday to Sunday, and the Art&Seek staff will pick a winner on Monday afternoon. We’ll notify the winner through FlickrMail (so be sure to check those inboxes) and ask you to fill out a short survey to tell us a little more about yourself and the photo you took. We’ll post the winners’ photo on Wednesday.Cindy

joseph_haubertNow here’s more from Joseph.

Title of photo: Dallas Bridge Reflection
Equipment: IPhone 4S
Tell us more about your photo:  This shot was taken around sunset on the Houston Viaduct, near Bishops Arts. I live off of Beckley and tend to walk or jog in the area after work. This particular day I walked the bridge. It was just gorgeous, with vivid pink and blue clouds everywhere. I knew there would be a great photo here but felt I could challenge myself. I saw this one little puddle in the street and literally laid in it to get this shot. I also jumped up in the air after cause I loved the shot so much! It’s a beautiful area and I’m happy I was able to do it justice in a creative way.

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The Big Deal: Summer Cut Happy Funtime Fest!

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Gather up your buds and gal pals for this Big Deal. Enter to win a 4 pack of tickets to KXT’s Summer Cut Happy Funtime Fest! This is the third year that KXT, our sister radio station, will be throwing the shindig featuring national and local artists.  Everybody had a really great time last year and this year’s show promises to be even more fun!  Death Cab for Cutie headlines the show at the Gexa Energy Pavilion on Aug. 15.  Joining  them will be Iron and Wine, and The Hold Steady. Check out the video above to see the complete line up of acts.  Art&Seek’s Artist Village will return with unique clothiers, jewelry makers and even a growler vendor.  And look for (literally!!) some special fun around Gexa from our friends at Art Conspiracy. More on that soon!

Eight food trucks will line the concourse to add to the concessions fare. Our lucky winners will have plenty of time to browse the Artists Village and cruise by the food trucks  because they’ll have their comfy seats waiting for them when the show starts.

And after signing up for this Big Deal you will definitely want to sign up for our other Big Deal this week – tickets to KXT’s other hot ticket/cool concert Barefoot at the Belmont with Jamie Scott and Fox and the Bird.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal. If you are not a subscriber then take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to win tickets to party at KXT’s Summer Cut Funtime Fest!

UPDATE: We have our winner! Thanks for playing

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The Big Deal: KXT’s Barefoot At The Belmont With Jamie Scott And Fox And The Bird

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Here’s your chance to scoop up tickets to the last KXT Barefoot at the Belmont concert of the season.  The  closing show on July 31, will feature British singer-songwriter Jamie Scott. Local folk-pop band Fox and the Bird will also be on the bill.  This show, like all previous Barefoot at the Belmont shows, is sold out so sign up here and then get your friends to sign up.

After you all have signed up for this giveaway y’all probably be in the mood to sign up for our other giveaway this week – tickets to KXT’s Summer Cut The Happy Funtime Fest at the Gexa Energy Pavilion.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber then take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to win tickets to KXT’s Barefoot at the Belmont with Jamie Scott and Fox and the Bird.

UPDATE: We have our winner! Thanks for playing!

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Art&Seek Jr: 5 Unexpected Summer Diversions

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

A few weeks ago while thumbing through a magazine I got hit by a bit of Martha Stewart-like inspiration. I’m not a very exact person, nor am I especially competent in the kitchen, so this type of thing doesn’t happen to me very often. I’m one of those–canned frosting is just fine, and, so what if it’s not perfect–type of gals, if you get my drift.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries. Don't try this at home--without a recipe. (photo: Therese Powell)

Chocolate-dipped strawberries. Don’t try this at home–without a recipe. (photo: Therese Powell)

Anyway, I came across an ad for chocolate-dipped strawberries. Let me just point out here, these weren’t your everyday strawberries.  These were big,  luscious, and dipped in three different kinds of chocolate, strawberries. They were so mouth-wateringly beautiful they seemed to scream out from the page with their squeaky little strawberry voices, “Eat me! Eat me!” Rose’s grandmother’s birthday was coming up and the delectable fruit seemed like the perfect gift. Then I saw the price for the little beauties and suddenly they didn’t seem so perfect. That’s when I heard the lilting voice of Martha Stewart say, “Therese, these would be so simple to make. You and Rose could do it together, which would make the gift even that much more special.”

I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say I should have consulted a doctor about Martha’s voice in my head, because it wasn’t simple. I started over twice, but both times I ended up with a big pot of chocolate wallpaper paste. To add to my stress, I had no plan B. Rose and I started the great strawberry escapade exactly one hour before we were due at Granny’s house–and I had no back up gift.

As we sadly stared into the pot of chocolate goo, Rose looked at me and said, “Maybe we could frost the strawberries like a cake?’ I had my doubts, but since I didn’t have any better ideas, we got out the knives and started frosting.  No, they weren’t velvety smooth like the ones I saw in the ad, but a quick roll in chocolate chips, nuts and colored sprinkles helped hide their lumpy appearance. In the end, much to my amazement (and relief), they turned out better than I expected, in fact, they were pretty darn good.

I learned two things from the experience: One, always have a recipe handy when pursuing Martha Stewart-like flights of fancy. And two, my daughter is genius when dealing with the unexpected.

Discover some not-what-I-expected delight at one of these family-friendly events:

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