Written by Junior Docent David Damiani
The Junior Docents at the Cummer Museum have gotten off to another strong start this year. The program gives teenagers between the grades of 7th to 12th grade a chance to become engaged with the museum by researching works of art, making their own original works, and volunteering at the museum.
So far, this year has been a jam packed exciting year. Our main project this year is creating an interpretive watercolor based on a didactic (an informational label intended to teach about the piece) we have written. In the beginning of the year each Junior Docent chose a work of art from the Cummer’s permanent collection to focus on. Then, from what we observed, we wrote a didactic that could be used to elaborate on the details in the painting and also describe the feeling the painting gave us. We are now working on the next step in the process, which is to take our didactic and turn it into a watercolor painting.
In addition to this project, we have also created Empty Bowls that went to the Empty Bowls Auction sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank. We had a lot of fun creating the bowls. The Junior Docents have also volunteered at exhibit openings and concerts in the garden. We have also contributed to the highlight tours of the galleries and helped out in the studios during free Saturdays.
A third aspect to the Junior Docents is that we listen to a variety of speakers that give us interesting talks about a wide variety of art forms. Our first speaker of the year was watercolor painter Kathy Stark. Ms. Stark gave us insight into what her techniques are and how she paints her works. This gave many of the Junior Docents an idea of how they could paint their own piece. In December, we listened to a lecture by Victor von Klemperer who is attempting to recover Miessen porcelain that his family owned and was stolen by the Nazis during World War 2. We also listened to a lecture by a fashion photographer, Mario Peralta, who gave a fascinating lecture about the history of fashion photographer and how it is inspired work. All of the lectures we have listened to were incredible lectures. Each lecture taught us something knew about art and we greatly appreciate the speakers for giving us their time.