See Knox’s Monet exhibit through the eyes of a docent

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – For Kate Soudant, the best part of art, is the way it connects us. She’s one of the volunteer docents at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, who educate visitors in an interactive way. The Monet and the Impressionist Revolution has been up at the gallery since last fall, and it’s been a hit with the docents ever since.

“I love it. I think it’s laid out beautifully,” Soudant said. “Me personally, I’m not that found of impressionist I have to say. I like the more abstract. But now I’m connecting it, and now I have a much deeper appreciation for it.”

Kate grew up in Buffalo, but spent several years overseas. She recently moved back, and re-discovered the Albright Knox.

“I didn’t really know too many people after being away for so long,” she said. “So I would come on Fridays, and I started making friends with the art, and found it magical.”

Kate now gets to share that magic with all kinds of tour groups, from school field trips to small groups of two or three.

“My most exciting thing is seeing kids get it. Or adults. Or anybody. You know, and when they see and get a different perspective, that to me just warms my heart. I just love that.”

All docents go through an intensive ten-week training program. They study art history, the works in the gallery’s collection, and how to engage different tour types.

“It’s kind of funny, you kind of have to suss out where they are,” Soudant explained. “So, how you’re going to do it. I’d like to be able to say, oh this is how it’s going to go. But you never know how it’s going to go.”

But one thing she does know? How she wants people to feel when walking away from one of her tours.

“I just want to connect people with art,” she said. “To show that art is way more important than people think it is, and has a lot more depth and there’s a lot more to it.”

Monet and the Impressionist Revolution runs through March 20th at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

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