Encourage curiosity and foster a love of art: become a docent at the PMA!

Encourage curiosity and foster a love of art: become a docent at the PMA!

“Docent work is much less about sharing knowledge and much more about getting others to talk about what they were seeing in works of art. Younger students’ enthusiasm and ways of seeing are refreshing and stimulating and one of the things I like best about being a docent.” –Docent Michael Smith

There is something magical about looking at works of art with children. Their openness to multiple possibilities is infectious, and their discussion expands upon the meanings prompted by a work of art. Docents at the PMA encourage these astonishing moments on each tour they lead. They make the museum accessible, and help crack open the wonder of art through engaging and interactive teaching techniques. And now, the PMA is looking for new people to join our docent program.

At the PMA, discussion-based teaching and interactive gallery experiences are designed to enable all visitors to take charge of their own learning. Each visitor can use their natural ability to engage with art through their own interests, past experiences, and prior knowledge. Adults and children can put their perceptions, emotions, and knowledge to work as we construct meaning from works of art, and docents are trained to help visitors have these experiences.

Docents play a vital role in welcoming school groups and visitors of all ages to the museum and helping them to develop their love of art. They also encourage close looking, facilitate discussion in the galleries, lead sketching and poetry activities, and help visitors make personally meaningful connections with the collection.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can help make art accessible to all, as well as being part of a strong volunteer group in the Portland arts scene, we would love to meet you! Come to our information session on Wednesday, October 11, and learn more about this wonderful program.

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July 5, 2017
Peggy L. Osher Director of Learning and Interpretation

As the Peggy L. Osher Director of Learning and Interpretation, Jenn strives to provide opportunities for visitors to make meaningful connections with art. Having worked in museums for over 15 years, she has come to believe that a museum can be a playful place where we explore creativity from the past and present to inform our future. Jenn loves exploring art, nature, food and drink with her husband and young daughter.