C3 Gallery

Art of Communication brings together works from the Dallas Museum of Art’s decorative arts and design, American, contemporary, European, and Latin American art collections to introduce some of the ways visual art provides historical or personal insights. The Center for Creative Connections (C3) invites you to explore objects arranged in three categories related to this idea: Communication Through Portraiture, Communication Through Design, and Communication Through Narrative.

Communication Through Portraiture

  Portraiture describes works of art that depict both the likeness and personality or inner state of an individual. As seen in this gallery, an artist translates the appearance of his or her sitter (the person in the portrait) into a still image. Clothing, accessories, and settings provide clues to each sitter’s social status, occupation, and achievements. Posture and facial expression give insight into the sitter's mood and temperament. Visit this gallery to view portraits from the Museum's collection, sit at the drawing horses and sketch the portraits on view, take a seat at the table and draw a self-portrait or a portrait of a friend, or take turns being the artist in the Photo Studio and pose a friend for a photo portrait.

instagram user @benacster instagram user @abiswork  instagram user @jennykuenzer


Communication Through Design

  The ways we communicate with each other have changed dramatically over the past century. While the portraits on view convey individual identities through visual cues, much of what we commonly associate with communication is rooted in language. Whether words are spoken or heard, written or read, the meaning we take from language is influenced by its packaging and presentation. 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.


Communication Through Narrative

  Narrative, whether explicitly represented or merely suggested, assists in the communicative impact of art. Additionally, the placement of art objects can alter our perception of a narrative or spark new stories in the minds of viewers. Curators carefully position objects to relay messages about an artist, time period, subject, or region. Likewise, artists can produce work in series or give instructions for the order or setting in which to display their works. Spend some time with this series of photographs by photographer, filmmaker, and journalist Geoff Winningham. What stories emerge as you peruse the photographs? Take a seat, write a story, and add it to our collection for other visitors to read.

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.