Creative Embrace...!

There are days when upon reaching home from work, all you want to do is grab a cup of hot coffee, switch on TV and just immerse yourself in whatever media wants you to; and then there are days when as you get home and toss your keys on kitchen table-things just seem so different and pleasant. Well-today was exactly such a day or should I say one of my best days of 2009.

Danforth Museum Of Art had their weekly 'Docent Meeting" today and it turned out to be be an wonderful experience. The meeting started with "New Docent Graduation Tours". One could easily identify the new docents, whose faces were marked by performance anxiety & awe of meeting veteran docents. The new docents and their instructors stayed in close proximity of each other, which was a clear indicator of the affectionate bonding between them in the past 3 months of training at Danforth.

As Ellen (new docent) commenced her graduation tour, the David Aronson gallery echoed with lots of questions, discussions about artwork and of course with the applause that followed her very well delivered tour. The viewers were asked questions (VTS Style) to:

  • Identify colors, shapes, patterns, art media, metaphoric meaning of artwork etc.
  • Let them decipher artworks thorugh active looking and critical thinking.
  • Find personal or cultural associations to artworks.
  • Make points of reference that other viewers can refer to as well.
  • Come up with simple logical answers to seemingly dense artworks.

After the tours, we headed towards meeting room and tour plans were made for upcoming exhbibits and "name-the-turtle" game was announced. Next we met surprise visitor-"Santa Claus", who handed admirable presents to everyone and wished us all Merry Xmas. As I was taking quick notes at a corner table, I wondered why don't people in the outside world tune-in to frequency of these people atleast once in a while!

'New Danforth Docents'

Speaking of these people, this team at Danforth comprises of people who in real world have diverse opinions in matters of religion, politics, science, economy, human rights etc. but elements common in them are-willingness to learn new things, utmost respect for each other, open-mindedness, amazing critical thinking ability and a deep rooted passion for ART!

While the media and society urges us to spend phenomenal amount of time buying presents, decorate our homes from outside and overload ourselves in never ending holiday obligations in this festive season, here are these people who carry true festive spirit in their hearts, get together for celebrations, crack few jokes, shower each other with generosity & goodwill and cheerfully give community gift of personal time! No wonder why some of feel a magnetic pull towards Art galleries and museums :D

On behalf of all the new docents, my sincere thanks to Julia, Judith, Lee, Ellen, Doreen and Danforth for developing our perceptual skills, listening skills & visual vocabularies and for being inspiring mentors!

"After a half-century of hard work and reflection the wall is still there."~Henri Matisse

[First Image Courtesy-©Danforth Museum by artist Gerry Bergstein]


s k gupta said...


keep it up..

madhu said...

Most informative & Innovative blog ever seen..
"New Docent Graduation Tour"..each & every word carry important meaning & is full of deep insight.
NEW..every moment spent in the training of Docents creates energy.
"Docents" are messangers of knowledge & convey precious thoughts of artists to visitors.
"Graduation" convey high level of proficiency and gives you formal authority to guide people especially visitors.
"TOUR " signifies journey, movement or transition from Darkness of Ignorance to Light of Wisdom..Moreover..this great initiative signifies continuous journey towards Excellence too.
The extent of deep interest shown by new set of Docents is simply great..This selfless service will spread seeds of wisdom & positive vibes amongst the target audience & visitors.Best Wishes..Just do it.with full enthusiasm cheerfully.

Suuki Yang said...

I am a little unfamiliar with DOCENT word and perhaps it is sort of a guide which we have in museums in our country - great to see your energy and though process - hope to read more adventures