What are Docents?

Docent is a title given to persons who serve as guides and educators for the institutions they serve, usually on a voluntary basis.

The Durango Arts Center is looking for art enthusiasts to become DAC Docents. Serving as a DAC Docent is a great way to get involved in the community, support the arts in our schools and share your love for art and learning with regional kids and adults. DAC Docent’s volunteer two to six hours a month and present a variety of famous artists in classrooms, explore and share information about art exhibits in the Barbara Conrad Gallery and interact with a broad population of people.  
To learn more about this fun group call Deena Carney, Education Director, at 970-259-2600 to learn more. 


The DAC Docents is an all-volunteer committee that offers multiple programs. Docents share the joy and beauty of the arts with children, elders and all in between through the following offerings.

Docent Program Offerings

Creative Minds

Creative Minds is a collaborative education program offered by the Durango Arts Center for adult clients of Community Connections. Recognizing the arts as a universal language, the arts fulfill the basic human need for self-expression. Beyond arts and crafts, the Creative Minds program meets the unmet needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Led by a Durango Arts Center teaching artist and DAC docents, the Creative Minds program is offered twice at month in the Barbara Conrad Gallery. Clients are provided with a tour of the Gallery exhibit followed by a hands-on art lesson, exploring self-expression through various art mediums. At the conclusion of each session, the clients are encouraged to share their work in a salon style display, to the delight of their peers.

Creative Minds expands the impact of the Durango Arts Center’s mission to provide individuals from Durango and surrounding communities with opportunities to create, to promote and to participate in diverse art experiences. At the same time, the program honors the mission of Community Connections, to create opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead healthy and fulfilling lives in their community.

“Art in the Schools”

This program is for children from kindergarten through 8th grade. The docent program is presented in the classroom with information about the artists and their work. Then the docents let the children work on their own, developing an art project that reflects the artist that was presented.

Program curriculum correlates with Local, State and National Education Standards in CO and NM.

Selected Artists and Curriculum Aspects

Albert Bierstadt Mount Corcoran

Albert Bierstadt – American landscape painter who gave Americans of the 1800’s a glimpse of the unknown West and the desire to become a part of it. (geography and social studies) 

alexander calder High Museum

Alexander Calder – American artist of the 20th Century whose playful mobiles added motion to the world of sculpture. (math and science)

Salvador Dali – Spanish Surrealist who used the painter’s canvas to depict images of dreams and the subconscious. (psychology)

leonardo da vinci annunciation

Leonardo da Vinci – Italian Renaissance man, was one of the greatest painters in history as well as an architect, scientist, writer, sculptor and musician. (social studies, culture, and science)

Stanton Englehart flying home

Stanton Englehart – Beloved Four Corners painter, is known for his large abstract landscapes. (social studies)


Frida Kahlo – Hispanic artist most recognized for self portraits. She used broad strokes and simple yet vivid color. (culture, social studies)

Selected Artists and Curriculum Aspects

Jacob Lawrence, Story Teller

Jacob Lawrence – American painter known for telling the story of African American experience in America. (social studies)


Georgia O’Keeffe – American painter known for her Southwestern landscapes and beautiful flowers. (social studies and nature)

Pablo Picasso-Girl Before a Mirror

Pablo Picasso – Spanish Cubist painter changed the world of art and reinvented his own artistic style throughout his career. (geometry)


Frederic Remington – American artist of the 19th and early 20th Century brought the action, tension, and drama of the American West to life. (geography and social studies)


Alfred Stieglitz – American photographer who raised photography to an art form. (culture)


The Art of Navajo Weaving – Clara Sherman presents the traditional Navajo textiles and D. Y. Begay exhibits contemporary works. (culture and social studies).

Tours of DAC Exhibits in the Barbara Conrad Gallery

This program provides students with an orientation to gallery behavior to help them gain a level of comfort in attending gallery exhibits throughout life. It provides a way for students to engage the art that they see and experience; the docents help the students learn to “look” at art. The program provides interactive learning experiences and hands-on art projects. For more information, call (970) 259-2606 or email to schedule a date and time for a docent visit.

Art Outreach in the Community

Docents also provide art outreach in the community through scheduled visits to senior centers and other organizations. Interested groups need to contact DAC Docents to schedule a visit 2 weeks in advance.

Thank you to our Sponsors