Nick Bouler always had an interest in art, but didn’t have the time to devote to learning about it until he retired and joined the Museum’s docent program in 2016. Once he began the year-long training for the program, Nick found that he not only enjoyed learning about the various types of art, but he also discovered that being a docent was rewarding in many other ways. He enjoyed getting to know fellow docents and staff, and was instantly impressed with the level of commitment and the enthusiasm the docents had for the Museum. The other docents gave him confidence that he could succeed in the program and made him feel a part of the Museum. He also found that he enjoyed talking to visitors about art on tours and learning from the many different perspectives and reactions our visitors have to the artworks.
One of Nick’s favorite artworks in the collection is Frank Benson’s Pomona, which is the painting that he used for his practice talk during training. He loves that it’s an American version of a classical subject by one of the artists that introduced Impressionism in America. He notes that even though his favorite works in the collection used to be Impressionist paintings, he has come to appreciate many different styles of artworks that he didn’t before through his training as a docent.
As soon as Nick finished his first year of docent training, he initiated a regular tour series that he calls “Art Attack.” On these tours he takes friends and associates on explorations of different galleries or themes. One of his favorite iterations so far has been a tour on women in art, both as subjects and makers. Another looked at history paintings throughout the collection. Nick has also recently volunteered to pilot a regular drop-in highlights tour and looks forward to having more conversations around art with visitors from a variety of backgrounds and all walks of life. Be sure to join a tour with Nick or any of the Museum’s amazing docents soon!