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NMSU gallery seeks volunteers for expanded docent program

The University Arts Gallery at NMSU is currently searching for volunteers for its docent program for the upcoming season of exhibits. The "Our Lady of Refuge" retablo will be included in the exhibition "El Favor de Los Santos: The Retablo Collection of NMSU," a collection of 19th century Mexican retablos on display Nov. 24, 1999, through Feb. 7, 2000.

The University Art Gallery is expanding its docent program in anticipation of the upcoming exhibition "El Favor de Los Santos: The Retablo Collection of New Mexico State University."

The docent program is comprised of volunteers who guide visitors through the gallery and answer questions about exhibitions. Docents also offer visitors valuable insights that assist gallery visitors in learning and responding to the art.

Volunteers are trained by gallery staff following each exhibition opening and are provided with occasional instruction in art history and appreciation. No art background is required, but docents must be "curious, enjoy working with the public and have a desire to learn and share," according to Jackie Mitchell, museum educator for the University Art Gallery.

"El Favor de Los Santos," which begins its display in November, will give docents the chance to learn more about the art of Mexico through a selection of NMSU's more than 1,700 19th century retablos. The exhibition, the largest of its kind in the nation, has earned the support of the Rockerfeller Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution and will be travelling internationally next year.

For more information on the gallery's docent program, call Mitchell at (505) 646-2545 or e-mail artglry@nmsu.edu