posted by Mollie Jamison
on 2015.01.09, under Around Town: Dallas
, Around Town: Fort Worth
, Around Town: North Texas
, Cool Stuff
, Family Fun
, Kid Fun
, Learning and Growing
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Dallas mom and culinary instructor, Tina Wasserman, has been sharing her kosher recipes with the Jewish and non-Jewish community for more than 40 years.
She recently released her second book, Entrée to Judaism for Families: Jewish Cooking and Kitchen Conversations with Children. The interactive cookbook includes introductory cooking tips and recipes for children as well as advice to help parents make the experience safe and rewarding. Each recipe also tells a story about the communities that first created the foods. Other features of the book include:
- “Kitchen Conversations” – conversations starters and activity suggestions to help families learn about Jewish history
- Dozens of everyday and holiday recipes
- “Tina’s Tidbits” – tips for cooking with children and other suggestions for making the recipes on your own
The book is available in digital or hardback form via Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iBooks and Kindle.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant by the end of 2015, then you may be eligible to participate in a paid research study by the Institute for Exercise & Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. This women’s heart health study examines how blood pressure is regulated throughout pregnancy.
To qualify, you must be generally healthy, a non-smoker and not be using fertility treatments. In addition, you must meet at least one of the following criteria: have a personal or family history of hypertensive pregnancy, be overweight or obese or be over the age of 40. For more information, please contact Rosemary Parker, M.S. at IEEMpregnancy@texashealth.org or call 214/345-4607.
Sanjana Mazumdar, a 7th grader at Maus Middle School in Frisco, decided that this year instead of writing a letter to Santa, she’d write from him. Through the Youth Entrepreneurs Academy is Frisco, she developed a business plan and set out on a mission to keep the spirit of Christmas alive by writing personalized letters to children using Santa’s signature. She also decided to give a percentage of her proceeds to a local charity. We sat down with the ambitious young lady to hear how business is going.
What was your inspiration to start this business?
My inspiration to start this business was from when I was a child and I truly believed that Santa Claus was real. Then, as I started getting older, I soon realized that he’s not. It was just my parents giving me those wonderful gifts all along! I was heart broken at this fact, but I had a wish to change that for other kids. I decided that when I grew older, I would think of a way to keep the magic of Christmas alive for other kids for as long as possible.
How did you gain support from the Youth Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA)?
YEA instructors guided us to think of feasible business ideas, templates for making a successful business plan and preparing for the investor panel. It made me think of the skills I had as a 6th grader and come up with my business idea.
How did you decide on a charity to donate a percentage of your profits to?
I decided to donate $1 for every letter to Frisco Family Services since my business is local. I also am a strong supporter in the helpful activities that they do for families in Frisco.
Will you continue to do this for the years to come?
I will surely keep doing it for as long as I can. I have put in lot of effort this year in setting up my website, maintaining a Facebook page and promoting my business. As it is a seasonal business, I can focus on my studies the rest of the school year.
What is your favorite part about being the CEO of A Real Letter from Santa? What is the hardest?
My favorite part of this business is writing the letter for the child. I like to know what they want for Christmas and if they still believe in Santa Claus or not. The hardest part of my job of being a CEO is, honestly, not knowing if I have kept a child’s spirit in the Magic of Christmas alive or not.
What are you most excited about this holiday season?
I am very excited about this season because it is the first time I will be writing letters to kids, earning money, and also donating to a charity – which I love doing!
What is your favorite holiday and why? Is it Christmas?
My favorite holiday is Christmas! I love this time of year because you can expect snow and have lots of fun with family and friends! I love how it’s cold and makes me feel like lighting up the fireplace and staying at home. This year will be even more exciting because it is the first time I will get to try out my business.
For more information or to order a letter, visit http://www.arealletterfromsanta.com/ through December 17.
Soon you’ll start breaking out those beloved holiday books and movies – and while every family has their own tradition, my family’s television set will play on a constant loop of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. If you too are a Dr. Seuss fan, don’t miss your chance to see his art in an unfamiliar form.
A selection of artworks from The Art of Dr. Seuss exhibit will be on display at Milan Gallery in Fort Worth through November 24. Visitors will view works from Dr. Seuss’s best-known children’s books and explore The Secret Art of Dr Seuss, a mind-expanding collection based on decades of artwork that Dr. Seuss created at night for his own personal pleasure. Perhaps the wackiest and most wonderful elements of the collection are Dr. Seuss’s three-dimensional “Unorthodox Taxidermy” sculptures with names like The Carbonic Walrus, The Two-Horned Drouberhannis, and the Goo-Goo-Eyed Tasmanian and Wolghast.
Ted Geisel (AKA Dr. Seuss) asked his wife, Audrey, to wait until he was gone before bringing these works to the public. Secretly, he wanted to be recognized as a serious artist, but publicly, he was quick to describe his private works as “Midnight Paintings.”
For more information, visit www.milangallery.com.
We sat down with the two local artists who created The Mother Load, an installation at the Dallas Museum of Art through March 2015, to learn more about the exhibit and the relationship between being a mother and an artist.
Meet the mastermind moms:
Natalie Macellaio grew up in the Chicago area and moved to Texas to receive her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. She is the Professor of Sculpture at Brookhaven Community College. Her work has been featured at 500x in Dallas, Accident Gallery in Euerka, California and is featured in the first exhibition curated by Manufactured Design by Architects in Barcelona, Spain. Natalie currently resides in Plano with her husband and twin 3 year olds.
Lesli Robertson was born and raised in Alabama, eventually moving to Texas to pursue her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas. She is currently an artist and professor of Fibers at UNT, while working on international collaborative projects that focus on art, community and the environment. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions and her research has been published in leading journals. Robertson was the inaugural Visiting Artist at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Center for Creative Connections, where her Community Partner Response artwork was on exhibit in 2010. Robertson has received grants from the Dallas Museum of Art, the Surface Design Association, the Textile Society of America, and a faculty fellowship with the UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts. She resides in Highland Village with her husband and 4-year-old son.
Tell me about the exhibit.
This exhibition evolved from in interactive artwork and project called The Mother Load. Beginning in 2012 with a handful of artists we personally knew, this project grew to engage with over 80 women from 9 countries. Our goal with The Mother Load is to create a platform to highlight the work and words of women who are both artists and mothers. Through our website, www.themotherload.org, and now this exhibition at the DMA, visitors will have the opportunity to explore new artists, artworks, and creative practices through an interactive platform. As visual artists, we wanted to create a physical representation of each artist. Using small copper plates, we decided to use their fingerprints along with their children’s to document this relationship. These oxidized prints are on one side of the plate with a QR code that links to their website on the other. Visitors are welcome to use their smart phones to scan the QR codes to find the website of each artist. We also have each artist’s links generated on our website.
On the grey wall, we have created an interactive scale for everyone to participate in, asking of themselves “In your life right now, what do you nurture and why?” Each person can write on the concrete tile and place the tile on the scale on the side of For Self or For Other. In asking this question we hope people of all generations, race, and gender, can reflect on their life, tell their story, and take the time to think about whether they are pursuing the parts of their life that matter to them.
What makes the relationship between being a mother and an artist unique?
This relationship of being an artist and a mother isn’t necessarily unique, but the recognition that you can be both a good mother and a successful and professional artist is unique. There is an assumption that to be a good mother you have to only and wholly be a mother and to be an artist you have to wholly dedicate your life to your work. We have found that most people have passion for many different areas and can indeed find a way to have balance in all of them. We hope to highlight that it is possible to have a family and a successful career in the arts – and here is a list of 80+ artists who are doing it.
What is the purpose or mission of the installation?
The goal of The Mother Load is to create a platform, through our website and public exhibitions, that connects, documents, and records the words and work of artists who are mothers. This collaboration came out of our direct need to get back into the studio after having our children. At the time we began this work, Lesli’s son, Liam, was 2 years old, and Natalie had twins, Milo and Fina, who were 6 months old. We both felt the pull of all aspects of our lives – the demands of motherhood at times contradicted our need to be in our studios. Since we both were in this place, we began to address and recognize the struggle between these two intrinsic parts of ourselves, the mother and the artist. As we began to work every Friday in the studio together, the conversation continued to turn to sorting out our new lives and how to learn to balance and adjust so that each element did not oppose one another, but motivated. We talked about other artists who became mothers, few and far between, or so we thought at the time. Those who we did know were very open to sharing their challenges and joys with us, filling a need we both had to understand what it meant to pursue both art and motherhood with our full selves. And through these conversations, The Mother Load project emerged.
What would you say to encourage mothers and their children to visit this exhibit? What about dads?
This exhibition and interactive sculptural scale is meant to start a conversation about the things we all are passionate about, but maybe we have not found a way to make time for those passions. We hope parents and children will pause and think about whether they have balance in their life. Do they nurture themselves as well as take care of something or someone else? This also relates to Dads as well as because they also have to balance their family life with things they are passionate about. This is also a conversation for people who do not have kids because we all care for something or someone.
Why is it important for children to accompany their parents? Will they have fun or learn something?
This installation is especially great for children and parents to experience together because it allows for children to see that their parents are people too. They have interests and ideas, and it is important to share those interests with our kids. The best teacher for our children are the parents and if they see the parents pursuing their passions then kids will know they can do it to.
What is the best part about being a mother and an artist?
For me (Natalie), being able to see the world again in a new way. My children have shown me how amazing the simple things in life can be. Going on a walk to the park can turn into an unexpected adventure and because of them my artwork has also changed in recognizing the beauty in the most ordinary objects.
For me (Lesli), it is much of what Natalie just said. We get to see life through a new set of eyes. I truly love the fact that Liam knows about art, he creates alongside me (at times), and through having him, I am inspired. I have the opportunity to reflect on my life, find what I truly value both in life and art, and pursue that with as much passion as I can.
If the installation is part of a bigger project and a bigger picture, can you tell me about that?
This installation is the beginning of this collaboration. Through this network, we have met and are beginning to collaborate with an amazing group of artists. Recently, we hosted Israeli artist Shira Richter at the DMA and surrounding universities where she was able to share her artwork through visual performance lectures. This collaboration will continue as we work with Shira to travel this project to Israel in 2015. We will see this project continue to connect to new artists as we work to travel the exhibition to many different countries through the help of internationally based contributors. Our website www.themotherload.org is also a resource for collecting, recording and documenting this group of mother artists, and is consistently growing. We are developing new components of the site so that it can be a resource for things going on relating to women, careers, motherhood, etc -essentially a resource for anyone to see how mothers, artists and women are pursuing their passions.
For more info on the project, visit www.themotherload.org or DMA.org.
Everyone likes saving money over the holidays, but what about saving a life? Bank of Texas has made it simple. Here is how you can help prevent family violence in a few easy steps.
1. Purchase a Partners Card for $70 from any participating retailer or restaurant.
2. Shop at more than 750 retailers in DFW from Oct 24–Nov 2 and receive a 20 percent discount.
3. The money you spent on the Partners Card goes to The Family Place, an organization with a mission to stop family violence by providing counsel, shelter and other forms of aid.
For more information, visit www.partnerscard.org.