Happy National Volunteer Week to our Docents

Docents are individuals who volunteer to connect art to visitors. Docents are volunteers that provide tours to the many visitors of the David Owsley Museum of Art. Here at DOMA we have an enthusiastic group of volunteer docents who are passionate about bringing art to the community through their well-prepared tours. This is a letter to the David Owsley Museum of Art docents:

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Dear Docents,

Happy National Volunteer Week!

Beginning in January, I became one of the education interns here at DOMA. With that responsibility came the pleasure of participating in the Docent Learning Program along ide many of you. After a semester of getting to know you, I am truly grateful for all that you do.

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I just wanted to say thank you for all the time, resources, energy, and brain power you put into being a docent here at the David Owsley Museum of Art. You each willingly give up an hour and a half each and every week to participate in the Docent Learning Program; you observe tours; you do extensive research both at the museum and on your own; you prepare your tours, putting in hours of planning; you are the heart of this museum. We couldn’t do what we do without you.

William Shakespeare once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

I would say that you all have found your purpose, as you are using your gifts as docents to serve the public and support the David Owsley Museum of Art. Ball State students and the Muncie community are so lucky to have you as part of their DOMA experience. Last year alone, DOMA docents provided 247 guided tours, serving a total of 8,637 individuals, a new record for the museum. That number is ever-growing and would not have been possible without volunteer docents, like you, so again I say, thank you!

Sincerely,

Alexa Hirt, DOMA Education Intern

Final Friday: Identity

By Alexa Hirt, Education Intern

I often find myself behind the lens of a camera. It’s safe, it’s comfortable, it’s a barrier between me and the rest of the world. When I zoom in with that lens, I can see things in people and expose them in their most intimate moments without them even realizing it.

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Last week’s Final Friday: Identity PechaKucha presentations sparked an interesting thought: is my identity found behind this camera lens and am I able to capture aspects of other’s identities that they may not even know exist? I like to think that I specialize in the “candid” shot. That meaning, I capture images of people in their most natural state; when they are laughing, contemplating, observing, eating, sneezing, etc. Some may find this intrusive, but I find it fascinating and thrilling. If I can capture the exact moment someone’s emotion changes from a frown to a smile without their knowledge, I believe I have captured the purest form of their identity and who they are.

While one of the PechaKucha presenters suggested that identity is only something that you choose for yourself and others can only base their perception of you based on your chosen identity, I’d like to suggest something slightly different.

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My personal definition of identity comes down to the idea that your identity is what you portray yourself to be even when no one is looking.

I think that who you are as a person is best seen when you don’t think you are being seen. The moments when joy overtakes you, or sadness overcomes your entire being, or confusion overrides all things that make sense; your reaction to those moments reveals your identity. Your identity is the purest form of yourself, just like a candid photograph. So, to answer my original question, I ask myself again… Is my identity found behind the lens of my camera? Well, yes, I think it is.

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In the moments that I forget about the rest of the world, and zoom in on what I find to be intriguing, beautiful and pure, I am revealing my reaction to those moments, thus putting on display, my identity, maybe, without even knowing it.

The next Final Friday will be April 28, 2017. Check out the Facebook event for more details.

Thursdays are for Training

Alexis Kiesel
Community Outreach Intern

DOMAInsider_Mugshots     As the semester winds down, I have been reflecting on the appreciation and knowledge I have gained from the docent training program at DOMA. In addition to being involved in all activities relating to community outreach, I have had the opportunity as an intern to attend weekly docent training meetings on Thursday afternoons at 3:30 p.m.

These meetings have given me a new insight into museums. Docents are volunteers who lead tours through the museum. These people amaze and inspire me each time I interact with them. They range in age from college students to early eighties. These docents are students, teachers, and retired community members who love art and want to share their knowledge. According to Barbara Alvarez Bohanon, “The Docent Learning Program at DOMA has greatly expanded my horizons through knowledge and appreciation of art.  I enjoy using that knowledge to help museum visitors grow as they find their own connections to art and the world beyond.”

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Fall 2016 Docents

Cathy Bretz, DOMA’s Education Program Coordinator, with the help of Tania Said, Director of Education, works diligently to prepare for the docent training meetings each week. Cathy also deftly arranges tours and recruits trained docents to lead these tours. In addition to this, she creates the tour plans for most guided tours.

When asked about the program, Cathy said, “The best part of my job is working with and getting to know our volunteers. Through their efforts, we’re able to engage visitors of all ages and I’m grateful for their continued dedication to DOMA. We simply couldn’t do it without them.”

MVI_0228.MOV.00_00_00_22.Still001.jpgSierra Trowbridge, the current DOMA education assistant, past DOMA education intern, and docent of 2 ½ years made the comment: “As a public history major, being a docent is a constant learning experience, both with art and people. I’ve met many fantastic people and made many connections that would not have happened otherwise. The knowledge that I have gained about interacting with art and helping others appreciate art is absolutely priceless.”

Throughout my time in the program, I have not only been privileged to meet these docents, but I also had the opportunity to learn from experts in different areas of art. I have been educated on Pre-Columbian, Native American, African, Chinese and Japanese, mvi_7212-mov-00_00_42_05-still001Indian, Tibetan and Nepalese, and Pacific art. Not only have I been exposed to extensive new knowledge on these works of art and the cultures that made them, I have been able to look at works in DOMA that correspond with each type of art and given an explanation of these objects by experts. Questions were welcomed by the art historians, historians, and artists. This conveyed what they thought valuable for docents to know about their respective specialties.

The opportunity to be involved in the docent training program has been one of the most notable I have had while interning at the museum. I would suggest the program to anyone interested in working in a museum, education, art or related subjects. The next informational meeting is Thursday, January 12, at 3:30 pm in AR 223 at the David Owsley Museum of Art in the Fine Arts Building of Ball State University. To become involved in the docent training program, please contact Cathy Bretz at cabretz@bsugmail.com.

Peace of Mind

Alexis Kiesel
Community Outreach Intern

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As I entered the David Owsley Gallery of Asian Art in the museum, I saw students sitting up against the wall and chairs set up facing toward George Wolfe, the meditation instructor. I had never experienced a meditation session in my life, but I felt enthralled for the new experience. The students around me shared that they had attended a session before, and although I had never done so, I felt at ease with my surroundings.

The Meditation in the Museum is held every Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., and I meditiatiojcould not imagine a better way to end a week. As a busy student with a constant stream of thoughts running through my head, the opportunity to slow down and let the stresses of the week slip away was ideal. Wolfe provided all the participants with a handout that included the script he used during the session for future use. This session focused on the mantra “ong” and the idea of light within one’s self. As Wolfe referenced, meditation is considered by some to be the fourth state of consciousness in addition to the waking, dreaming and sleep states. This meditation state includes a physical relaxation and heightened sense of awareness.

Even though this was my first experience with meditation, I would encourage screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-2-42-21-pmanyone to attend a Meditation in the Museum session. Being in the museum itself provides a peaceful, calming and relatively quiet environment, and being led through a series of instructions in order to reach a calming and relaxed state of mind is an activity beneficial to most anyone. Students can attend a Meditation in the Museum session most Friday afternoons starting at 3:30 p.m. in the David Owsley Gallery of Asian Art of the David Owsley Museum of Art. See the following link for the complete schedule for the Fall 2016 semester: http://cms.bsu.edu/web/museumofart/museumevents/meditation-in-the-museum

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photos by: Emma Rogers

 

What’s Happening in April

What’s Happening in April at DOMA

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The Counseling Center Presents Meditation in the Museum
Friday | April 1 at 3:30 pm
RSVP not necessary, simply stop by. This is a free activity. Recommendation: Bring a towel, blanket or a yoga mat as this activity involves sitting on the floor.
Meditation in the Museum is a program series presented by the Counseling Center with the support of the David Owsley Museum of Art. With questions about the program please feel free to contact Dr. Hodorek at sphodorek@bsu.edu

12593991_1032223403485641_3682281564110124946_oDocent’s Choice Tour: 1 in 3: What Does It Take for You to Be Outraged
Saturday | April 2 at 2:30 pm
Docent Kyrra Clevenger will lead a tour that discusses the museum’s current exhibition, 1 in 3. Focusing on gender based violence, Clevenger will inform patrons on the works of art on display in this important and illuminating exhibition.

George Wolfe Leads Meditation in the Museum
Friday | April 8 at 3:30 pm
Silent Meditation sessions are conducted by George Wolfe, Professor Emeritus and former director of the BSU Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution. This week’s meditation is titled “Practicing Tapasya: transforming anger into positive energy.” These sessions last 45 minutes. Meet in the Owsley Asian Art Gallery in front of the Amidha Buddha. Chairs provided; bring a towel, mat, or blanket, if desired.

Decorative Arts and Contemporary Craft TourIMG_3898
Saturday | April 9 at 2:30 pm
Taking place in the Pruis Gallery, docent Rich Ruh will lead a tour discussing the decorative arts and contemporary crafts that are on display at the David Owsley Museum of Art.

Exploring Social Issues through Dance and Art with Audra Sokol
Wednesday | April 13 at 12:00 pm
Through a Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry seminar, Professor Sokol and her students are using dance and theatre to explore the connections between standards of beauty, objectivication, and acts of violence in our culture through this discussion titled, “Exploring Social Issues through Dance and Art with Audra Sokol.” The spring 2016 special exhibition “1 in 3,” developed by the World Bank, offers inspiration as well.
The seminar’s community sponsors are A Better Way and Muncie Civic Theatre.
Taking place in the Alumni Center, Meeting Room 2

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Neda Wants to Die
Thursday & Friday | April 14 & 15 at 6:00 pm
In conjunction with the special exhibition, “1 in 3: What Does It Take for You to Be Outraged?”, see the play that was commissioned by the World Bank.
War rages on. Neda and Laurent need help. Joh, a United Nations officer, collects their stories. He needs to act fast to save them. How much are they willing to share? How far will John go to save them?
A panel discussion follows the performance.
Co-sponsored by the Multicultural Center
Recommended for adults due to strong language
Fine Arts Building, Recital Hall

12509624_1033566713351310_8049107388146626245_nThe Counseling Center Presents Meditation in the Museum
Friday | April 15 at 3:30 pm
This week’s meditation will center around coloring meditation with music.
RSVP not necessary, simply stop by. This is a free activity. Recommendation: Bring a towel, blanket or a yoga mat as this activity involves sitting on the floor.
Meditation in the Museum is a program series presented by the Counseling Center with the support of the David Owsley Museum of Art. With questions about the program please feel free to contact Dr. Hodorek at sphodorek@bsu.edu

Docent’s Choice Tour: Indiana Art
Saturday | April 16 at 2:30 pm
Docent Faith Gorrell leads a tour discussing the Indiana art that is on display at DOMA.

George Wolfe Leads Meditation in the Museum
Friday | April 22 at 3:30 pm
Silent Meditation sessions are conducted by George Wolfe, Professor Emeritus and former director of the BSU Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution. This week’s meditation is titled “Liberation From Past Impressions.” These sessions last 45 minutes. Meet in the Owsley Asian Art Gallery in front of the Amidha Buddha. Chairs provided; bring a towel, mat, or blanket, if desired.IMG_3911

Docent’s Choice Tour: Sculpture Court
Saturday | April 23 at 2:30 pm
Docent Charlie Schaefer leads a tour discussing the works of art on display in the Sculpture Court at DOMA.

Participants will have the chance to tour the exhibition with a staff member and then attend a healing touch workshop led by Peggy Farrer, a registered nurse liaison for St. Vincent Home Health and Hospice, and certified apprentice for Healing Touch International. The after-program’s goal is to restore harmony and balance in the energy system, facilitating visitors’ self-healing process.
$5 per participant; free for Friends members and BSU students
Register online!
Weather permitting, this week’s meditation will center around walking meditation.
RSVP not necessary, simply stop by. This is a free activity. Recommendation: Bring a towel, blanket or a yoga mat as this activity involves sitting on the floor.
Meditation in the Museum is a program series presented by the Counseling Center with the support of the David Owsley Museum of Art. With questions about the program please feel free to contact Dr. Hodorek at sphodorek@bsu.edu.
Final Friday: Censorship
Friday | April 29 at 6:00 pm
MCs Braydee Euliss and Traci Lutton introduce PechaKucha talks to Muncie to highlight what is creative and cool about the area. Stay to enjoy music by DJNELL, refreshments, cash bar, artist demonstration, art, and more.