C3 Gallery


Art of Communication

Art of Communication brings together a selection of objects spanning six centuries and five continents to introduce some of the ways visual art conveys information. The Center for Creative Connections (C3) invites you to explore how we derive meaning from portraiture and wearable objects through activities and interactives. Visit the gallery to view artworks from the Museum's collection, draw and describe a personal object that’s meaningful to you, or fill in the blanks to create your own gallery label.

Portraiture is traditionally understood as the representation of an individual’s physical likeness. Clothing, accessories, and settings can provide clues to a sitter’s social status, occupation, or achievements. The inferences we draw from a person’s appearance depend on our experiences and cultural context. Some messages imbedded in art objects are difficult to identify without the assistance of additional resources such as wall labels. Viewing unfamiliar works of art draws attention to the tools used to pass information between individuals or groups of people. Our perception may, or may not, match the artist’s intent or original meaning.


Exploring Ideas of Communication

Outside of the front gallery, Art of Communication presents two groupings of objects that transmit information. The central floor cases hold examples of 20th-century mechanical devices that dramatically changed the circulation of audible and visual material. Today, telephones, cameras, and televisions are a part of daily life in the United States, but they are the result of over a century of technological advances and design evolution. Whether words are spoken or heard, written or read, the meaning we take from language is influenced by its packaging and presentation.


On the nearby wall, a trio of objects made by unidentified Inca (Inka) artists demonstrate alternative, non-verbal ways to record current events. The use of intricately knotted cords enabled messages to be hand-carried over great distances between cities in the Inca Empire. Centuries later, the arrival of Spanish colonial forces resulted in objects that carry multiple, overlapping cultural messages. Visit this gallery to view objects from the Museum's collection, and then take a seat at the Art Spot and create your own device for communication.


Click here to see a list of all works of art currently on view in the Center for Creative Connections.


Past Exhibitions

C3 Interactive Gallery
January 2013–June 2017
Center for Creative Connections

Between 2013 and 2017, the Center for Creative Connections stepped away from a themed exhibition and served as a participatory space where creativity and experimentation were both our methods for developing activities and our goals for visitor experiences. During this time we highlighted works of art from the Museum's permanent collection and created relevant gallery activities for visitors of all ages and abilities. Read the Gallery Spotlights below to learn about some of these activities and read examples of visitor responses. 

C3 Interactive Gallery Spotlight_Whats In A Name.pdf
C3 Interactive Gallery Spotlight_Drawing to Look.pdf
C3 Interactive Gallery Spotlight_A Web of Wisdom.pdf
C3 Interactive Gallery Spotlight_Artful Reflections.pdf
C3 Interactive Gallery Spotlight_Layers of Color.pdf

Encountering Space
September 25, 2010–Fall 2012
Center for Creative Connections

We take up space. We move in space. We encounter space. Closed spaces and open spaces, full spaces and empty spaces—these can affect us differently, both physically and emotionally. These same reactions can be a part of our experiences with the space of a work or art. 

Artists change space. Just as artists make choices about how they use color, lines, and shapes, they also make choices about how they use space. As you move through this exhibition and view works of art from varying physical distances and perspectives, think about how the artists use space and give you a way into their art. Reflect on your responses to the spaces you encounter in art, as well as those you encounter in your everyday life.

Monitor Wall Visitor Photo Submissions:
TEXAS SPACE - On view in C3 September 2010–February 2011
DESIGNED SPACE - On view in C3 March–September 2011
FILLED SPACE - On view in C3 October 2011–March 2012
PEACEFUL SPACE - On view in C3 April–October 2012
POSITIVE/NEGATIVE SPACE - On View in C3 November 2012–January 2013

The Living Room
July 27–September 24, 2010
Center for Creative Connections Temporary Location, Tower Gallery, Level 4


During the summer of 2010, the Center for Creative Connections moved into the Museum’s fourth-floor Tower Gallery as construction began on a new exhibition, Encountering Space. To continue to serve visitors and the community, artist Jill Foley was brought in to create a dynamic installation for the Center’s temporary "home away from home.”

Jill Foley is a Dallas-based artist who creates large-scale imaginary-type spaces to host her puppet-like figural sculptures and her paintings and drawings. She has used recycled cardboard to create naturalistic forms and makeshift home furnishings to surround visitors in an active living space. Foley wanted to create an inviting space like that of a living room that reflects the personality of C3. She was also inspired by the DMA's collections and the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection period rooms on Level 3. Throughout the summer, Foley and the C3 staff hosted participatory programs, happenings, and performances in the gallery. Visitors created artwork to contribute to the space, reflecting the involvement of the community.

Materials & Meanings
May 3, 2008–July 25, 2010
Center for Creative Connections

What do the materials of works of art mean to artists? What do the materials of works of art mean to you? Materials & Meanings, the inaugural exhibition of eight works of art selected from the Museum’s encyclopedic collection, focused on the materials from which a work of art is made and on the meanings associated with those materials to both the artist and the viewer.

Materials can have powerful meanings for the artist who selects and manipulates them as part of the creative process. You bring your own experiences with materials when you look at a work of art. The works of art in this exhibition were from different cultures and time periods, but all are made from materials that suggest meanings to the artist and perhaps to you.