August 10, 2011
Artful interpreters wanted: Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art seeks docents
Want to help visitors to Kansas State University's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art get to the art of the matter? Then the museum's docent program is just for you.
An information and orientation meeting for those interested in joining the Beach Museum's docent program will be 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Sept. 12, at the museum, 14th Street and Anderson Avenue.
According to Kathrine Schlageck, senior educator at the Beach Museum, docent comes from the Latin word docere and means to teach. Schlageck said the term today is used by many museums to describe the trained volunteers who provide educational services for the museum visitor; other terms include tour guide, interpreter and volunteer educator.
"Docents at the Beach Museum of Art serve as interpreters of the museum's exhibitions, helping to give the visitor a deeper understanding and appreciation of the artwork," Schlageck said. "Docents work with both adults and children."
The docent training course is designed to develop visual literacy, provide a general art history background of 20th-century American art and train docents in learning styles and developmental learning.
"While many of our docents have teaching and art backgrounds, it is not required," Schlageck said. "The ideal docent is open-minded, likes working with the public and is a good listener as well as speaker."
Several of the docent training lectures will be open to the public, Schlageck said, and would be of interest to people who want to learn more about art but don't have time to be a docent. The free lectures, all at the museum and from 10 a.m. to noon unless otherwise indicated, include:
* Monday, Sept. 19, "Language of Art and Reading a Painting," a lecture/workshop, lead by Schlageck.
* Monday, Oct. 3, "Introduction to 20th-century American Art History, Part I," lead by Schlageck.
* Monday, Oct. 17, "Introduction to 20th-century American Art History, Part II," lead by Schlageck.
* Thursday, Oct. 20, "Looking at Kansas: Visual Artists from the Sunflower State," a presentation and discussion lead by Ron Michael, curator of the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, at 5:30 p.m.
* Thursday, Nov. 3, "Folk Art in Kansas," presented by Erika Nelson, an independent artist, educator and director of World's Largest Things Inc., at 5:30 p.m.
* Monday, Nov. 7, "Introduction to American Art History, Part III," lead by Schlageck.
* Monday, Nov. 14, "To Build a Rich Collection," presented by Bill North and/or Liz Seaton, curators of the Beach Museum.
* Monday, Dec. 12, " Printmaking in Kansas and the U.S.," Bill North and/or Liz Seaton, curators of the Beach Museum.
* Monday, Dec. 19, "Thinking About Abstract and Conceptual Art," lead by Schlageck.
The lectures will be accompanied by a series of workshops on working with various audiences and interpretation techniques. Schlageck said Docents will be mentored during the winter and spring as they begin to assist with tours.
For more information, contact Schlageck at the Beach Museum of Art, 785-532-7718, or drop by the museum on the southeast corner of the K-State campus at 14th Street and Anderson Avenue. Free visitor parking is available next to the building. Normal museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed Mondays.