Meet Crystal Bridges Volunteer Phyllis J. Jones!
Career Information (Past, Present or Future)
IBM Corp – 30 years – large systems software engineer
Bed & Breakfast owner/operator – 8 years
Favorite artwork or space at the Museum
How did you learn about the Museum and what prompted you to get involved?
I read about it prior to construction. I traveled a lot with IBM here and in Europe; I always visited museums and dreamed of being a docent after retiring in a great art museum. After living just above NYC, I moved to NWA in 1994. My dream was on hold until 2011!
In what ways have you been involved as a volunteer with the Museum thus far?
Gallery Guide (Frames and Architecture tours also)
What keeps you coming back to volunteer?
To experience its excellence and diversity (architecture/grounds/art), and wanting to share and teach others about the art (and frames) and the buildings. Plus the people that I have come to view as my Crystal Bridges family.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?
Learning more about the art/architecture and seeing the enthusiasm in those involved in my tours.
What have you learned or how have you been personally affected from your experience with the Museum?
I have learned much about art in general—objects, history, movements, elements/principles, and have been pleasantly surprised at how much I have enjoyed learning and doing the tours. As a computer scientist by training and career, this took my mind in an entirely new direction and gave me much more appreciation (and envy) of the creative mind.
Do you have a funny or inspirational story you can briefly tell about your volunteer experience? Please share with us!
Our training experience was inspirational, interesting, and laced with humor and enthusiasm from Niki Stewart, Aaron Jones, and Alyssa Wilson. Also, people on my tours will suddenly look at an abstract work and, when asked what they see, come up with some really unexpected observations. I try to always remember each of them and share them with other tours when the ‘crickets get too loud.’ They may smile, but usually will open up with their own unusual views.
Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Crystal Bridges?
Look into the opportunities and do what fits you and your schedule.