ROCKWALL, TX – August 24, 2020 — For the first time in months, Austin and I got out of the house and experienced some culture! We were invited to be special guests at the Dallas Museum of Art’s reopening weekend event and new rotating exhibit.
The museum has been closed since early spring due to COVID-19, but reopened on the weekend of August 14-16. From now on visitors will be able to reserve time slots to enter the museum online so that they can monitor the number of guests who walk through the doors at all times. Here’s our experience social distancing and exploring their new rotating exhibit: For a Dreamer of Houses.
Social Distancing at the Dallas Museum of Art
Austin and I have tried to be pretty careful throughout the pandemic this year, and we were really impressed by the safety measure the Dallas Museum of Art had in place for guests.
First of all, the new ticketing system meant that we never felt crowded by other people. The museum is large and there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out and maintain 6 feet from each other. We felt even safer in this setting than we do at a restaurant.
Secondly, per Governor Abbott’s order the DMA requires everyone inside to wear masks. Even if someone did come within 6 feet of us, we felt better about that protective barrier from their germs. There were also plenty of hand sanitizer stations placed strategically throughout the museum.
Lastly, the DMA was spotlessly clean. We even saw a cleaning crew working in one of the exhibits while we were there, and it was clear that they had been disinfecting everything all day. It was so nice to be able to relax and enjoy a date together without stressing about COVID for an afternoon.
For a Dreamer of Houses Exhibit
The rotating exhibit that opened alongside the museum last weekend is called For a Dreamer of Houses. According to the DMA: “For a Dreamer of Houses, an imaginative and immersive exhibition, explores the significance of the spaces we inhabit and how they represent ourselves, our values, and our desires.”
The exhibit includes over 50 works from the DMA’s collection in a variety of media that “demonstrate the evocative power of domestic objects and structures.” It explores themes like belonging, alienation, fantasy, gender, and the body. It was inspired by a book called The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard.
It costs $9 for anyone over age 11 to visit For a Dreamer of Houses in person, or you can take a virtual tour online for free. We were invited as guests of the DMA to feature the reopening on the blog and on Instagram.
Our Favorite Installations in For a Dreamer of Houses
The most iconic piece in the new exhibit is a giant, interactive neon house structure called Rubber Pencil Devil by the artist Alex Da Corte. It’s the first thing that draws your eye when you enter the exhibit because of its immense size and glowing walls. Guests can actually walk inside the house and watch one the randomized 57 video segments playing on a wall-sized screen. The videos “combine elements of personal narrative, art history, pop culture, and advertising.” The house itself is meant to represent the stage home on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Another one of the more interactive pieces inside For a Dreamer of Houses is Chapel by Francisco Moreno. It’s an arched wooden structure you can walk inside to find the walls and ceiling covered in drawings—cathedral-style.
Francisco’s piece speaks to the role of the church as a site of cultural identity and communal belonging. The drawings inside merge Baroque characters with Mexican muralism and modern machinery (like monster trucks). This was my favorite piece in the exhibit.
Last but not least, Pergusa by Olivia Erlanger is a surrealist washing machine with a mermaid tail protruding from it. It is the most recent piece in the exhibit. It is meant to explore the fantastical side of domestic life and the subversion of traditional gender roles. As the curator on the virtual tours says “The familiar turns out to be the most fertile ground for the strange.”
Visiting the Dallas Museum of Art
If you want to check out For a Dreamer of Houses, we highly recommend experiencing it in person. While it used to be easy to stroll inside the DMA, things have changed to accommodate COVID-19 safety precautions. Use this link to reserve your timed tickets to the museum for free. Use this link to purchase timed tickets to For a Dreamer of Houses for $9.
We hope you enjoy a date to the Dallas Museum of Art as much as we did!
By Julie Anne Wells.
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