Last Call To See The 19th Annual Young Masters Exhibition At The Dallas Museum Of Art

Sometimes “putting off” isn’t such a bad thing. An example of that is visiting the 19th Annual Young Masters Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art during its final days. This year’s exhibition ends this Sunday. Yup, that’s Easter Sunday. The good news is that a lot of folks and kids have Friday off, so they can check out the 65 original pieces of art that won the hearts of a panel of art and music professionals.

17 Young Masters graphic works*

Displayed along the Concourse, the exhibition includes 54 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works of art created by AP Studio Art students, five essays analyzing works of art in the DMA’s permanent collections by AP Art History students, and six 4-minute original compositions by AP Music Theory students.

Tiffany Sims of Grapevine High School*

Ryan Irwin of Lovejoy High School**

These were the so-called pick of the litter of 896 works submitted by 10 Dallas-area high schools (Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Colleyville Heritage High School, Coppell High School, Creekview High School, Grapevine High School, Lovejoy High School, Plano East Senior High School, Plano Senior High School, Plano West Senior High School, and Richardson High School) participating in the O’Donnell Foundation’s AP Arts Incentive Program.

Adhithi Baskar of Coppell High School**

Daniel Che, Kevin Bai and Gahwon Lee of Plano West High School**

According to Program Founder Edith O’Donnell, “The Young Masters Exhibition recognizes outstanding intellectual and creative expression in students participating in our AP Arts Incentive Program.  In its nineteenth year, the students’ work featured in the exhibition continues to inspire. The talented students who participate in our program and complete rigorous AP arts and music coursework build essential skills to ensure their success in the 21st century global economy, including stimulating innovation, cultivating critical thinking and developing a greater understanding of diverse cultures. I continue to be very proud of their accomplishments.”


Lyle Kradolfer, Carol Kradolfer, Edith and Peter O’Donnell and Ruth Mutch**

But wait! Here’s an idea. The DMA will be open Sunday, which is also the ultimate, very last day of the display. So, after hunting down those Easter eggs, going to church services, munching at brunch or whatever, why not check out the “young masters’” artwork.

And while you’re there, see the “Mexico 1900-1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orzco and the Avant-Garde.” Thanks to The M.O.B Family Foundation, admission to the exhibition will be free. But it’s available on a first-come, first served basis. FYI: The DMA opens at 11 a.m.

* Photo credit provided by AP Strategies 
** Photo credit: Steve Foxall

Four Arts And Music Students Awarded $80,000 In Scholarships From The O’Donnell Foundation

Peter O'Donnell and Brent Christopher*

Peter O’Donnell and Brent Christopher*

Brent Christopher and his Communities Foundation of Texas were extra-busy at the Mabel Peters Caruth Center Thursday, April 7. First, there was a reception scheduled for the winners of the CFT-administered O’Donnell Foundation’s annual Excellence in AP Arts and Music Theory Award Scholarships. As soon as it was over, there would be an event for nonprofits participating in CFT’s Data-Driven Decision Making (or D3) Institute.


Nell Beck, Edith O'Donnell and Nancy Dedman*

Nell Beck, Edith O’Donnell and Nancy Dedman*

Bow-tie clad Brent, however, looked as unflappable as ever at the AP event with attendees including Nancy Dedman, David Corrigan, Nell Beck, Gay and Bill Solomon, Elizabeth Boeckman and Jim Bass. They’d all gathered to celebrate the four recipients of this year’s scholarships, awarded to outstanding high school seniors participating in the O’Donnell Foundation’s AP Arts and Music Theory Incentive Program. This year’s recipients—Jierui Fang of Plano West Senior High School, Emily Hua of Plano West, Wenjia Li of Plano West, and Ananya Rajesh of Coppell High School—each will be receiving $20,000 scholarships to help them attend and graduate from the colleges or universities of their choice.

After welcoming remarks by Serena Y. Ritch, the O’Donnell Foundation’s senior program analyst and director of arts programs, each winning student was introduced to the audience by a teacher at her school. Sarah Depetris of Plano West brought up Jierui, who disclosed that she wants to pursue a career in healthcare entrepreneurship.

Jierui Fang*

Jierui Fang*

Emily Hua*

Emily Hua*

Wenjia Li*

Wenjia Li*

Ananya Rajesh*

Ananya Rajesh*

Akiro Sato, also of Plano West, introduced both Emily and Wenjia. Emily explained how she’d been captivated by the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh (especially his “Wheat Field With Cypresses”), and feels “a connection to the artist’s time.” Akiro called Wenjia “a modern-day Renaissance woman”: while she had a musical composition performed by the Austin Symphony, she’s also a self-described “huge science nerd” intent on studying biochemistry at Harvard, Yale, or Rice.

Tamera Westervelt brought up Ananya, “the most gracious, humble, and poised student I’ve met in 24 years of teaching.” Ananya, who said art helped her find balance in her life, wants to attend UT Arlington, get an MBA and become a management consultant.ExcellenceInArts_148.sized Samuel Holland

Dr. Samuel Holland, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU, concluded the program by exhorting the scholarship students to “seek out [their] own ‘edge zone’ ” of transformation and unlimited possibility in order to achieve success. Seems like a pretty sure bet that they will.

* Photo credit: Steve Foxall


The Edith O’Donnell Institute Of Art History To Open “Satellite Campus” At Dallas Museum Of Art Tomorrow

Tomorrow the doors will open for a new 1,882-square-foot research center at the Dallas Museum of Art thanks to The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History. It’s all a part of the partnership between the DMA and the University of Texas at Dallas.

How’s that? The area located in the DMA will be a satellite campus for the O’Donnell Institute of Art History main offices based at UTD in a 3,700-square-foot space that opened this past May.

Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History at Dallas Museum of Art*

Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at Dallas Museum of Art*

Designed by Buchanan Architecture, the DMA space is “equipped with state-of-the-art digital art history research tools and provides unique access to DMA collections and the research resources held at the Mildred R. and Frederick M. Mayer Library.”

According to O’Donnell Institute Founding Director/Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies Dr. Richard “Rick” Brettell, “For all of us at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, the close study of the art object itself remains at the center of serious scholarship. For that reason, we are delighted to inaugurate an historic partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art, which has a truly encyclopedic collection of global art…. We will, in effect, bring art historical research right into the center of the DMA in a beautifully designed space next to the DMA’s Mayer Library and adjacent to the offices of the museum’s art historical brain trust, its curators.”

Founded in 2014, the O’Donnell Foundation has been “focused on works of art and materials held in regional collections and institutions and on exploring intersections between the visual arts, the sciences and technology.”

Dallas philanthropists Edith and Peter O’Donnell have been longtime supporters of the arts, education, healthcare and other nonprofit efforts.

* Photo courtesy of Buchanan Architecture