The eyes and ears of the David Owsley Museum of Art

The outgoing guards at DOMA have a special shared experience through their on-campus employment.

<p>Senior guards Hannah Schneider (right) and Taylor Hamblin (left) pose for a photo April 17 at the David Owsley Museum of Art. Not only art majors are allowed to apply for this position. Andrew Berger, DN</p>

Senior guards Hannah Schneider (right) and Taylor Hamblin (left) pose for a photo April 17 at the David Owsley Museum of Art. Not only art majors are allowed to apply for this position. Andrew Berger, DN

The David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA) doesn’t only house art. 

For many Ball State University students, it houses opportunity.

Graduate and social media assistant, and former DOMA intern and guard, Taylor Hamblin spent the past two years working at the museum surrounded with possibilities to further her career while at Ball State.

“I started here as a guard and really loved it here,” Hamblin said. “I felt comfortable enough to apply to go higher up, and here I still am.”

Art majors are not the only people eligible to be a guard or getting an internship at DOMA. Assistant Director Rachel Buckmaster said she doesn’t want anyone to feel discouraged from applying due to not being an art student.

“We have guards from practically every college,” Buckmaster said.

Similar to other on-campus jobs, applications can be found on Cardinal Career Link when positions are available.  

The guards at DOMA are more than just the individuals seen sitting in the corners of the museum's various galleries. They become the personality of the museum, as Buckmaster described.

“I’ve always thought of [student guards] as the eyes and ears of the museum,” Buckmaster said. “Thousands of people come in here, and I talk to very few. Overwhelmingly, if someone comes in and they talk to someone from DOMA, it’s almost always one of the guards.”

This isn’t the only way they impact the museum. Fourth-year student and guard Hannah Schneider has felt the impact she’s been able to make in the community as well. 


Senior Taylor Hamblin poses next to her favorite art piece April 17 at the David Owsley Museum of Art. Schneider. Schneider is also the Dean’s Student Advisory Council representative. Andrew Berger, DN

“I’ve been able to participate by doing or suggesting DOMA kids activities, and that’s actually how I got my position as the Dean’s Student Advisory Council representative,” Schneider said. “I proposed that we create a fortune teller for kids to get them more engaged in the artwork.”

As a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, Schneider said she advocates for herself and other guards.

“I speak on behalf of the guards on what things we need or what things could we have to be more successful here at the museum to help guests feel more welcome or, just in general, make the museum more accessible,” Schneider said.

She said when it came to first getting involved with the museum, a friend helped pique her interest.

“I came to Ball State as a transfer student, and one of my friends I first met here took me to the museum,” Schneider said. “That’s how I got introduced to the entire collection. The fact that [Ball State] has a full-fledged art museum on campus is pretty rare.”

Hamblin agreed and said not only is the museum’s existence unique but so is the experience and connection it can give students. 

“It is my college experience,” Hamblin said. “I was walking around trying to take pictures of things and it tugs at my heart because it’s just such a good place to grow.”

She said an important part of her college experience was finding a healthy and supportive workplace environment, which was something DOMA provided.

“I’ve gotten super good experience [in public relations],” Hamblin said. “I’ve been able to because I’m comfortable. I’m able to spout out ideas and not be afraid.”

She said the community and friendships built by the staff are also an imperative part of working at DOMA, fostering a welcoming environment.

“I got to meet a lot of different people from all backgrounds — people I never would have met if I hadn’t worked with them,” Schneider said. “Some of these people I’ve had consistent close friendships with and have been able to connect with even after they graduate.”

Hamblin echoed similar sentiments about friendships and expressed the importance of community.

“If you talk to the guards, they’ll always tell you the same things. They’ll say they love to be surrounded by the art, they love the community and they love the supervisors, which is rare,” Hamblin said. “People love each other here.”

These connections entail more than just friendship, for Schneider it has been a learning experience.

“I get to learn about other people’s experiences, the work that they do and the interests that they have to broaden my worldview,” Schneider said.


Senior Hannah Schneider walks amongst art April 17 at the David Owsley Museum of Art. Hamblin has worked at the museum for the past two years.

DOMA also showcased a glimpse into the world of public relations for Hamblin and her career, which she is more specifically interested in.

“It’s made me appreciate being able to see all the working parts of a museum but also to be a nonprofit because I really want to work with a nonprofit,” Hamblin said.

With many guards and interns filtering in and out of the museum, the impact they have on the way DOMA is run and received by the public is clear to Buckmaster.

“They contribute to everything we do, and I feel strongly that I learned as much from them as they did from me,” Buckmaster said. “We really do value them and couldn’t do what we do without them.”

Not only has DOMA had an impact on both of their college careers, but it also serves as the place where they close their college journeys, as commencement is on the lawn in front of the stairs to the museum.

“I feel like I have the most special connection ever,” Hamblin said. 

Contact Madelyn Bracken with comments at


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