Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Online Pairings: DAM Art Made into Mood Boards

The museum can be an amazing resource for Denver creatives; people come to the museum to sketch, search for inspiring colors and patterns, learn about specialized techniques, and more. Many of the programs produced by our adult and college team are based on the idea that the museum can be an active resource in our creative lives.

To bring that idea home, we recently launched Pairings online, modeled after our on-site program of the same name. On our Tumblr account, Pairings offer a glimpse into what the DAM’s collections inspire in others. They are visual mood boards, matching artworks with specialized fields like cooking, fashion, graphic design, gardening, and more. For each one, we invite a Denver creative to look at a theme and share how different artworks stimulate their own ideas and work.

So far the responses have been amazing. We kicked off the series with a look at artworks paired with street fashion by super stylist Tran Wills. Then we embraced the fall bounty, asking Hey! Party Collective to produce an event styling based on the theme harvest. Just in time for the holidays, local fromager Mondo Market shared a delicious display of cheeses matched to patterns found in the collections. Imagine the marbling of a blue cheese, inspired by a porcelain dish in the Asian art gallery. Now that is one way to fancy up your next dinner party–art-inspired cheese platters!

Over the winter, we got cozy with a suite of book selections that paired artworks with the theme character—brought to us by Joe Cahn, a reference librarian for Denver Public Library. Next, we asked local candymaker Becky Geller to work her sweet tooth magic, pairing treats with fragile-themed works. We’re ready to welcome spring with open arms, so keep your eyes open for the next Pairing by Lindsey Housel, matching flower arrangements with inspiring images.

Pairings are fun, quick samples of how the Denver Art Museum can help jumpstart any creative process. They are small doses of big ideas. And who knows where those ideas may lead….

Note: The Pairing above of a white chocolate tart and Puppet of Dasarath was created by candymaker Becky Geller. She says “The brittle texture of candied citrus slices along with the colored glass-like translucency of this white chocolate tart with candied Meyer lemon reminded me of the fragility of this puppet, made with incredibly thin paper. The candied lemon can easily become soft and dissolve if left in humidity (or on the top of this tart too long), or break into pieces if not carefully handled.” (The photo of the tart is courtesy of Sweet Style CA. The photo of the Puppet is courtesy the Denver Art Museum.)

Jaime Kopke is the adult and college program manager in the education department at the Denver Art Museum. She has been with the DAM since 2011 and is always scouting for community creatives to collaborate with for A&C programs. Send her an email.