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Get to Know a DMA Docent

April 1, 2010

If you have scheduled a docent-guided visit to the DMA, you already know how wonderful our docents are.  We have a corps of over one hundred volunteer docents who lead tours for K-12 and higher education students, as well as our adult visitors.  I recently talked with Lisa Jacquemetton to learn more about her experience as a DMA docent.

 
 

Docent Lisa Jacquemetton with Franz Kline's Slate Cross

How long have you been a DMA docent?
I am in the middle of my third year.

Why did you become a docent?
I had just finished my Masters in Liberal Arts at SMU and I loved that but I didn’t really want to take my formal education any further.  One of my friends was a docent, and she suggested that I contact Molly .  I became a docent primarily for the art history education, or so I thought.

Tell me about your experience in the docent program.
I’ve just loved it.  I have made all kinds of new friends with similar interests—fellow docents, educators, and even getting to know the curators has been fun.  I have learned much more than art history.  I’ve learned how to teach, I’ve learned a lot about comparative religion, science, world history– so much more than art history.  I’ve learned that I really love being around kids.  Who knew?

So what makes you love being around kids?
I think it’s seeing their reaction.  When you have a kid really get into a work of art, you see their faces light up, or at the end of the tour when they saw “aw, are we done” and you know that they want to keep going—it’s a high.

What is your favorite work of art in the DMA collection?
That’s like asking me what my favorite color is.  I’m partial to contemporary art and Abstract Expressionism.  My favorite, but it was just taken down, was The Eye by David Altmejd.  I also love Franz Kline’s Slate Cross—so dramatic, so powerful, and for me, so emotional.  I tend to react to art on an emotional level first, and that’s one of those pieces that makes me swoon.

Share your best tour experience.
The best tour experience I had was an Arts of the Americas tour last year.  First we headed to the elevators to go up to the 4th floor, and the reaction of these kids—they were so into it.  We went through the Ancient American galleries, looking at the Inca tunic first.  Then we looked at Xipe Totec, and I gave them the gory details, which they loved.  And then we ended at the Olafur Eliasson exhibition which was a huge hit. We ended up in the Room for One Color, and I gave them pieces of paper inside so they could decide what color it was.  One boy in my group was in a wheelchair and did not have fully formed foot, so he took off his sock and held his piece of paper between his toes.  (He wasn’t able to use his hands.)  When we came out, he was so into the whole experience.  And here’s the best part—the kids asked me for my autograph and I wrote it on their little pieces of colored paper.  I felt like a rock star.  It was the first and only time I’ve been asked for my autograph.  I practically flew home off my own energy that day.  When the kids react like that, that’s the best.

Shannon Karol
Tour Coordinator

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