by Alicia Lockwood – St. George Art Museum
The St. George Art Museum is the leading museum in the St. George area and has been an essential part of the community for 20 years. We feature exhibits of many cultures and times, as well as the work of local and regional artists. We also have many yearly, monthly, and special events. The St. George Art Museum is in need of volunteers for our Docent-led tour program. A docent is a person who serves as a guide and educator at the Museum.
We work with the Washington County School District to provide tours for 4th and 5th grade students. This program provides students the exposure to many aspects of art and the rich history of St. George, which some students may never have the chance to experience without these tours. The 5th grade tours begin in September along with the Meet the Artist program, where local professional artists give demonstrations of their work. The 4th grade tours begin in January along with presentations by Historic St. George Live, a separate group of volunteers that dress up as well-known historic pioneer figures and talk about how St. George was settled.
The 4th and 5th grade tours are once a day, 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM, generally on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Two classes come at a time. One class will go to the museum and the other to the coordinated presentations, then switch at the 40-minute mark. In the museum, for the Docent-led tours, the students split into four small groups. Each Docent leads their group around and discusses the art on display. Docents can sign up for as many tours as they would like.
On occasion, we have additional special tours from varying age groups or other schools that ask for a Docent-led tour of the museum. The special tours are coordinated in advance.
It is not necessary to have experience or previous knowledge of art or of being a Docent. We provide Docent training, as well as an information packet to use. This is a great opportunity to learn a new skill and be involved in the community.
As part of the Art Museum staff, we have an Education Committee and a Docent Liaison to offer support. Other benefits include, free museum passes, two luncheons a year, first preview of the new exhibits and invitations to opening exhibit receptions.
Here are some comments from some of our Docents:
“Now that I’ve been a docent and experienced the students’ reactions to all the different artists and styles of art, I can honestly say that these exhibits are making an incredible impression on these students” – Sue Harvest, Docent
“For a lot of the kids, we are their first experience to the world of art museums. It’s a privilege to be a part of that journey with them. Hopefully, we inspire them with a desire to visit more art museums in their future.” —Stephanie Wheeler, Education Committee Chairperson
“I started my volunteer docent journey when I was 19 years old, as it was a great way to jump start my experience on art education. When you are giving tours as a Docent, you engage students to build conversation on what they think, feel, and observe within the artwork.” – Mariah Baumgartle, Docent
Join us for the good feelings of volunteer work. Please call St. George Art Museum at (435) 627-4525 or visit the St. George Art Museum at 47 E. 200 N., St. George, Utah for more information. You can also call Stephanie Wheeler, Education Committee Chairperson at (801) 809-2418 and Gwen Shifflet, Docent Coordinator (702) 250-1405.