March 2012

West Side Stories
Exploring connections between SMU Meadows School of the Arts and
Santiago Calatrava, West Dallas and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

In honor of the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, SMU's Meadows School of the Arts wrote a series of five essays about the school's connections with Santiago Calatrava, the new bridge and West Dallas. They were posted during the week leading up to the dedication of the bridge on March 4, 2012.

Part 1 -  SMU Meadows part of bridge opening festivities. The Art Burst youth festival, organized by Bernardo Diaz, a Meadows adjunct professor who teaches classes in two West Dallas Community Centers, and the "Bridged" art exhibit featuring artworks from area universities including several from SMU alumni and students, are part of the multiple festivities celebrating the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.. Read more.

Part 2 - Calatrava's roots in Dallas start with SMU. "Wave" was the first Calatrava installation in Dallas and the first large-scale work permanently installed in the United States; read about Calatrava's long relationship with SMU and the latest Calatrava exhibit at the Meadows Museum opening March 4. Read more.

Part 3 - Meadows students help preserve heritage and culture of West Dallas - Students from dance, journalism and theatre worked with residents in the West Dallas community, filming oral histories and learning about the barrios. But they were careful not to impose their “outsider” ways of thinking. Read more.

Part 4 - Art as social practice - Josh Kumler spent a lot of time in Dallas as a first-year SMU Meadows theatre student, but he never ventured to the Trinity River or West Dallas. That all changed his sophomore year when he enrolled in a new course called “Art as Social Practice.” Led by recent SMU M.F.A. (’11) graduate and artist-in-residence Bernardo Diaz, a handful of SMU Meadows students spent two days a week at the West Dallas Community Centers working with schoolchildren, focusing on collaboration, self-awareness and reflections of their West Dallas community. Read more.

Part 5 - Music and journalism across the Trinity - Relationships between SMU Meadows and residents of West Dallas continue to broaden and deepen. The “Artspace: Mapping Sites of Social Change” and “Art as Social Practice” classes have been established; the Art Burst youth festival, led by adjunct professor Bernie Diaz and SMU students, took place on March 2 as part of the festivities surrounding the dedication of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge; SMU alumni and students showed their work at the “Bridged” art exhibit March 2-4 at the old Quality Ironworks factory on Singleton Boulevard. Read more.

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