Docents are one of the best assets to museums. They volunteer their time to learn in-depth about exhibitions and then share their learned knowledge with visitors on guided tours. They field questions and comments about art, the process of art, and who it is making art in order to aide patrons to a better understanding of something that can be intimidating. It’s a stimulating exchange of ideas and insight between guide and guest.
KMAC recently revived the docent program and we welcome Dana Moore and Gretchen Treitz Brown to the team of dedicated museum volunteers. The current exhibition The New Art of the Loom is their second exhibition giving guided tours. They also guide school field trip tours. Docent tours are available every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month at 3pm. Simply meet at KMAC’s front reception desk. There is no added fee for the guided tour.
We asked Dana and Gretchen to give us a few observations about being a docent and how they came to volunteer at KMAC.
Gretchen Treitz Brown
“As a docent, I provide tours to facilitate a rewarding museum experience. I love to help the viewer connect with a piece. I feel privileged to receive the training from KMAC curators and educators. At KMAC, there is a rich and diverse audience; my experience has been with local, national, and international visitors. My conversations with visitors bring out more and different ways to view things–visitors and docents can interact and learn from each other. Each time I give a tour, I notice something new. Something magical happens when a visitor takes the time to contemplate a detail I might point out. I tend to talk about my favorite pieces, however, it has been so valuable to learn about an unfamiliar artist or process. Besides the continuous training process, I enjoy the additional reading and studying about each exhibit. I can answer questions, thus offering a more satisfying experience. My interactions with a piece are heightened when visitors share their insights, whether students or adults. Because I have a significant commitment to the visual arts, it has been a joy to attend curator tours, lectures, exhibition openings, orientation, and on-going training.”
“I first became aware of KMAC when my son was small and he participated in Winter Break workshops and Summer Art Camp. I have participated in several hands-on workshops and even worked with metal in a session taught by Craig Kaviar.
I’ve always had an interest in art since childhood and love the process that goes into creating an artwork. My family loves to travel and museums are always on our list of places to visit.
I am a retired Speech Language Pathologist who worked primarily in the public schools. Volunteering as a Docent will still let me show students the process and creative thought that goes into a work of art. I like listening to the KMAC staff and always look forward to learning and seeing new exhibits.”
If you’re passionate about art and love to share this excitement with others, consider becoming a KMAC docent. Email Dane at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.