Written by: Sherry Brown
Three years ago when struggling for ways to fill my retirement hours, I took a painting class with Allison Watson at Reddi Arts. My table partner was a witty and friendly blonde, Stephanie Welchans. After she quizzed me about my 39 years of contributions in public education, most recently as an elementary principal in Duval County, she decided I could walk and talk at the same time and invited me to be part of the Cummer docent corp! After a grueling phone interview with Betsy Towers and a year of art lessons, I began tours on my own two and a half years ago. The weekly experiences allow me a new set of friends, continual learning and my kid and teacher fixes in a whole new perspective.
I enjoy changing exhibits, smart interactions with other docents and giving back to community through volunteering. Rogers’ sculpture, Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii, is my favorite Cummer piece. She speaks to me and tells me secrets from Roman times that help me better understand art forms today. My thinking and appreciation for art has increase gigantically since being invited to grow and learn at the museum.
When not dashing through the gardens and galleries,I enjoy acrylic painting, walking, volunteering for other community organizations, taking classes through UNF, travel and reading. My husband John and I reside between homes in southwest Virginia and Jacksonville. I am being trained to docent at the Taubman Museum in Roanoke, Virginia and carry all I have learned from my Cummer colleagues with me.