Docents play a vital role in educating and engaging visitors to the museum by leading tours for all ages. In honor of #NationalVolunteerWeek, we asked the Albright-Knox's docents what working at the museum means to them.
"I’ve been a docent for over 20 years and continue to love sharing my passion for art and always learning more . . . sometimes even meeting the artist! The best reward is seeing a student’s eyes light up when they connect with a piece of artwork!"
– Monica Stange, docent since 1999
"I love being a docent at the Albright-Knox because I get to educate and hopefully inspire people of all ages to enjoy art, appreciate how great our collection is, and become life-long lovers of art and members of the museum. I also have a wonderful docent family to share experiences with, and learn from. I am systematically retrained and reeducated by our incredible staff. All of this makes me a better docent."
– Mary Therrien, docent since 2009
"Every time I see lights go off in someone's eyes or hear the excitement in their voice when they connect a work of art with an understanding of life—maybe their own, or maybe an insight into a universal truth—I believe in the power of art and am grateful I have the opportunity to be a docent to witness."
– Kate Soudant, docent since 2007
"As a docent, I am always learning new approaches to looking at and appreciating art. I really enjoy digging into where an artist is coming from and working towards. Consequently, I feel more connected to what I am helping others see."
– Allan Hayes, docent since 2015
"Being a volunteer means being connected to my community. As a docent, I can meet people from Western New York, the Toronto area, as well as the world. Conversations about art and artists link us together in unexpected ways and remind us of our shared humanity. After I give a tour, I leave the museum feeling physically, emotionally, and intellectually stimulated because of the intense aesthetic experience. "
– Marcia Mitrowski, docent since 2015