Docents at the Cape Cod Museum of Art study hard to learn all they can about the permanent collection and special exhibitions – then delight in sharing their knowledge with museum visitors. Now comes a show where they’re also sharing the fruits of their own creativity: “Artists in Their Own Right: Works by Cape Cod Museum of Art Docents” will open Nov. 15 and continue through Jan. 13 in the museum’s Ocean Edge Gallery.
A joint opening reception for “Artists in Their Own Right: Works by Cape Cod Museum of Art Docents” and “Enamel Guild/North East: A Juried Exhibition” will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.
Of the museum’s 25 docents, at least a dozen are actively producing some form of art, including oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings; pastels; collages; and works in fabric. Most have some outlet for showing their work on at least an occasional basis, whether through a commercial or community art gallery or at a local guild or art association. Joyce Aaron – considered to be the museum’s first and longest-serving docent – is also one of the best known as an artist. Former docent Richard McGarr – who has had shows of his paintings at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth – is also participating in the exhibition.
Cape Cod Museum of Art docents receive quite extensive training about the collection, with each of them becoming an “expert” on at least one particular artist. They also take frequent field trips and attend gallery talks in a constant effort to increase the range and depth of their understanding of Cape Cod art.
One docent, Gail Burke, commented: “Artists are the best people to talk about what’s going on in the artwork. Rather than just talking about art history, they can help people see like an artist.” It also works the other way: Carefully studying the works of other artists helps them improve their own.
Docents are generally on duty at the museum from 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m. Thursdays; 11 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 to 2 p.m. Sundays. While happy to give tours of the museum upon request, they generally assume the more relaxed role of “museum guide.” After briefly introducing visitors to the museum and acquainting them with what’s on view in the galleries, they simply make themselves available to answer questions or call attention to points of interest. Some docents also make offsite presentations to interested community groups.
The Cape Cod Museum of Art is located at
60 Hope Lane
, off Route 6A on the grounds of the Cape CodCenter for the Arts in Dennis. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Regular admission is $9, $8 for seniors, $5 for students 13 to 18, and free for children 12 and under. More information may be obtained by calling (508) 385-4477.
ID of attached image:
Richard McGarr, “noon a purple glow,” acrylic painting. The title is from William Butler Yeats’ “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.”