18th Annual Young Masters Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art

O’Donnell Foundation sponsored exhibition featuring 60 works from Dallas-area Advanced Placement Studio Art, Art History, and Music Theory students 

Dallas, TX—February 19, 2016—The O’Donnell Foundation announces the eighteenth annual Young Masters Exhibition on view February 27, 2016 through April 17, 2016 at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) in the Concourse Gallery. The exhibition features selected original works created by Advanced Placement® Studio Art, Art History, and Music Theory students from ten Dallas-area high schools participating in the O’Donnell Foundation’s AP Arts Incentive Program.  

Selected by a panel of respected professionals from the arts and music fields, the 2016 Exhibition features 60 original pieces chosen for consideration from 858 works submitted by AP Fine Arts students. The exhibition includes forty-nine 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. 

Schools represented in the exhibition are Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA), 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. (A complete list of the students participating in this year’s exhibition is attached.)

“Celebrating our eighteenth year, the Young Masters Exhibition recognizes outstanding intellectual and creative expression in students participating in our AP Arts Incentive Program. Each year, the students’ work is inspirational both in conception and execution. This year is no exception,” remarked Edith O’Donnell, founder of the program. “The talented students who participate in our program and complete rigorous AP arts and music coursework build essential skills including critical analysis, both verbal and written, problem solving, conceptual and spatial understanding that will serve them well throughout their lives. I continue to be very proud of their accomplishments.”

A private reception and awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 30, at the Dallas Museum of Art for participating students, their families, and teachers.  A highlight of the evening will include remarks from Dr. Richard Brettell, the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies and Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Brettell is also the first director of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at The University of Texas at Dallas. In December 2015, the Institute debuted a new research center at the Dallas Museum of Art. Through its partnership with the DMA, the Institute is the first PhD degree-granting program in the U.S. that incorporates both an institute and a museum, and is the first such program that is a collaboration between a public university and a public museum.

The O’Donnell Foundation’s Advanced Placement Fine Arts Program was founded twenty-two years ago to motivate high school students’ interest and success in rigorous college-level fine arts courses. This year, 114 teachers and 1,627 students from 16 Dallas-area high schools participate in the program.  Courses include AP Art History, AP Studio Art Drawing, AP Studio Art 2D Design, AP Studio Art 3D Design, and AP Music Theory. Pre-AP courses may include any classes that prepare students for AP arts courses. The Foundation also provides superior AP and Pre-AP training in sixteen Dallas-area high schools that participate in the program.

Based on the 2015 College Board AP fine arts qualifying exam results of a “3” or higher, the Foundation’s grant schools account for 19.2% of the state’s qualifying AP Fine Arts exams; 29.2% of the state’s qualifying AP Art History exams; 25% of the state’s qualifying AP Music Theory exams and 13.5% of the state’s qualifying AP Studio Art exams. In addition, the Program’s schools hold the top three state rankings for comprehensive AP Fine Arts schools (campuses that offer all three disciplines: AP Studio Art, AP Art History, and AP Music Theory). Plano West Senior High School was first in the state with 275 qualifying AP Fine Arts exams in 2015; 97% of the PWHS students taking an AP Fine Arts exam received a qualifying score.

Since its founding in 1994, more than 17,500 arts and music students have benefited from the O’Donnell Foundation’s AP incentive programs. Last year, graduating seniors earned over $34 million in scholarships.

Admission to the Young Masters exhibition in the DMA’s Concourse is included with free general admission. For more information, visit www.apstrategiesarts.org or www.DMA.org.

About Dr. Rick Brettell
Dr. Richard Brettell is the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies and the Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is among the world’s foremost authorities on Impressionism and French painting from 1830 to 1930. He has served as an international museum consultant with projects in Europe, Asia and the United States, including the Millennium Gift of the Sara Lee Collection, the largest corporate gift to the arts in American history.

Brettell is the first director of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at The University of Texas at Dallas. The position, as well as the Edith O’Donnell University Distinguished Chair professorship to which he also was named, was made possible by a gift from a longtime UT Dallas friend and civic leader Edith O’Donnell.

Brettell also helped create FRAME (French/Regional/American Museum Exchange), a formal collaboration of museums in the United States and France that serves as a catalyst for cultural exchange. As a result of his work with FRAME, he received a commandeur certificate from the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). The award is the most prestigious of its type in France. Fellow commandeurs include T.S. Eliot, Clint Eastwood, Marcel Marceau, Bob Dylan and Ray Bradbury.

In 2010, Brettell curated the exhibition Pissarro’s People at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. The Impressionist exhibit displayed 92 works, including portraits of artist Camille Pissarro’s family members alongside pictures of artists, neighbors, domestic help and rural workers. The exhibition was reviewed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Brettell published Pissarro’s People, an archival study that included interviews with surviving family members of the artist and research from newly discovered letters.

Brettell also serves as a vice provost of UT Dallas.

He earned his undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University. He has taught at The University of Texas at Austin, Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, Yale University and Harvard University.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 23,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum welcomes over 650,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. In January 2013, the DMA returned to a free general admission policy and launched DMA Friends, a free program available to anyone who wishes to join, focused on active engagement with the Museum. For more information, visit DMA.org.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.