Closeup of concrete

A Bell Volunteer’s Perspective

Have you ever been inside an art sculpture?

Published05/11/2020 , by Ward Tongen

Enjoy this guest post from Bell volunteer Ward Tongen.

I volunteer as a docent at the Bell Museum, and among other things, as a photographer. It’s been my privilege to help our visitors interpret the natural history exhibits of the museum. As someone who has a passion for learning I appreciate being part of our programs that encourage hands-on discovery and support lifelong learning. The learning experiences the volunteers facilitate connect, excite, and delight our visitors.

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”—Eleanor Roosevelt

Volunteering at the Bell Museum has helped to rekindle my childhood passion for photography. In this photo gallery you can get a glimpse of how I see the Bell Museum. My photographs are a record of my curiosity and developing photographic style. I am particularly fascinated by how the changing light and color plays across the building’s textured walls, bird-safe glass windows, and structural elements, even the the signage.

The building was specifically designed to tell the tale of Minnesota’s natural history. The museum was literally built to “ignite curiosity and wonder, explore our connections to nature and the universe, and create a better future for our evolving world.” It certainly does that for me. From my place behind the scenes I am privileged to see the inner workings on how the museum operates. It’s like being inside a constantly changing art sculpture that connects us to science, art, architecture, and natural history.