Museum Security Guard: What I Learned

After my momentous art viewing experiences at MassMOCA last spring, I decided to volunteer at the local art museum.

Here are a few things that I learned volunteering at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

I learned that a woman wearing a badge that says "Security" is an irresistible target for remarks from some types of people. Usually that remark is "Security!?" said in a tone of mocking disbelief. Ha ha.

I learned that abstract artist Debra Ramsay took walks on a forest trail in spring, summer, fall, and winter, and took a photo every 18 feet. She then selected a color from each photo and created the work "Painting Time." Above and below are features of the installation.

I learned that people don't really read signs, as they would come into this room and wonder aloud what they were looking at. Although I had read the sign, I did not fill them in because I figured the discovery, if any, is part of their personal viewing experience.

I learned that glass artist Robert DuGrenier had a historic barn full of beloved animals that was destroyed by fire in 2015. All that remained after the fire were the metal parts of the tools and implements that had been in the barn.

I learned that Robert DuGrenier used these tools in a body of work called "Handle with Care." I swear I could feel the pain of the animals and of his loss emanating out of the metal in this room.

I also learned that glass-handled tools are irresistible to some people who feel they HAVE to touch them to believe them. My job as Security was to stop them before this happened (which is difficult).

There will be new exhibits when I volunteer again at the end of next week. I can't wait to learn what else people might find irresistible!

Do you volunteer? Is there a local museum where you live?

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