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The Docent Program

How it started

The Docent Program began unofficially in 2004 as a means to provide guardianship of the art on display during the weekend hours and during evening performances at Hale Auditorium and Shewan Recital Hall. Therefore, the Docent Program expanded the operating hours of the gallery thus yielding greater community exposure and access. The importance of this exposure cannot be underestimated, since the gallery milieu is the public face of the cultural activity at Roberts Wesleyan College. A stronger gallery presence fosters good public relations, good visibility, and a positive first impression.

How it benefits students

  • The Docent Program provides an opportunity of service for students.
  • Each student who volunteers as a docent in the gallery during a time that coincides with performances at Hale Auditorium receives free admission to that performance.
  • The Docent Program assures that not only is the Davison Gallery a place of destination, a place to display works of art, but it is a place wherein the student can actively learn more about contemporary art, understand an aspect of the gallery function, and enrich the experience of all who enter its space.

How it works

If there is no coverage, the gallery remains open only on weekdays till 5pm. Therefore, it is expected that students will sign up for up to a three hour slot, once per semester at the post outside the adjunct's office (They do not sign up via email to the Gallery Director). Three to five days before their scheduled time, the Gallery Director emails a reminder of their commitment and attaches a form with detailed instructions. The student must sign this form after they have fulfilled their obligation, and return it to the Gallery Director, who will then submit it to their advisor or professor. Students need to arrive at least 15 minutes before assigned time, then call Security to come unlock the doors. They need to introduce themselves to the Head Usher, if there is a performance at Hale. Once the performance has started they are to turn off lights in the gallery and close the door until just before it locks. At intermission, quickly open gallery doors and turn on the lights. The Gallery Director informs Security, CLC staff, and Division of Visual Arts Administrative Assistant of the names of those who agreed to serve that week.

Job description in a nut shell

Greet visitors, answer questions, and insure the safety of the artwork, i.e., ask that visiting art connoisseurs kindly refrain from tactile encounters with the artwork.