Meet Crystal Bridges Volunteer, Robert “Brooks” Garner!
Career Information (Past, Present or Future)
In July 2010, I retired from Oklahoma State University after a 26-year career. While at OSU I taught undergraduate courses in mass communication and public relations. Prior to OSU I held a variety of positions in corporate communications and public relations, primarily in Oklahoma.
Favorite artwork or space at the Museum
The outdoor spaces are very appealing to mae. In addition, I always enjoy the variety of special exhibitions that are hosted by Crystal Bridges.
How did you learn about the Museum and what prompted you to get involved?
My wife, Linda, and I learned about the Museum during the early construction phases from a friend who lives in Eureka Springs. In January, 2011, we moved to Fayetteville to retire. Linda joined the Gallery Guide training later in 2011 and this led to my interest in volunteering as a Museum Guide. I was at the Museum on opening day, 11-11-11.
In what ways have you been involved as a volunteer with the Museum thus far?
I have enjoyed serving in the Experience Art Studio, distributing audio guides to visitors, greeting guests in the main lobby, and welcoming people at the entrance to the temporary exhibitions.
What keep you coming back to volunteer?
Volunteering keeps my MOJO working!
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?
Interacting with the guests is a super rewarding and energizing endeavor. In addition, the Museum’s Volunteer staff members are all special people to work with. It is a very friendly atmosphere for volunteers. Plus, I really enjoy the “sweet treats” and the electric foot massager that are provided in the volunteer lounge. Nice deal!
What have you learned or how have you been personally affected from your experience with the Museum?
I’ve learned that Crystal Bridges is an exceptional place to volunteer because of the flexible scheduling available and the variety of volunteer events and activities that we have to select from.
Do you have a funny or inspirational story you can tell about your volunteer experience?
This is the saga of the “lizard lady.” It was a hot August morning in 2016. I was greeting Museum guests and taking tickets to the special exhibition, American Made. A young woman waiting to enter the exhibition began dramatically shaking her head. “Oh, there is something in my hair!” she exclaimed! Suddenly a small, very scared lizard fell out of her hair and dashed across the floor to the nearest wall. A Museum employee quickly performed the appropriate capture and outdoor release procedure. It is my hope that the employee will be awarded a “Superman” all cotton T-shirt, and the shocked guest will receive a refund from her hairstylist.
Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Crystal Bridges?
In summary, the Museum is a wonderful place to volunteer because of the variety of activities available, flexible schedules, and the friendly Museum employees grateful for the services that the volunteers provide. Join us! It’s a wonderful place to put a smile on your face. Hope to see you here soon!