So we got arrested today. Not literally but it kind of felt like it.
We arrived at Crystal Bridges Art Museum at 10am. While it actually was to open at 11am today, we we’re nonetheless welcomed as if it was open.
We proceeded through several galleries, aware that many groups of children were gathered alongside art pieces.
When we pushed open the doors to the Early American Art gallery, we were stopped by museum security persons and questioned. “What are you doing here?” “How did you get in?”
Then,”come with me”.
We asked if we could just sit in the galleries and wait until 11 o’clock. “No. Come with me.”
Questioning continued by a higher-up security guard. We explained how we had been welcomed as we entered, and again by guest services.
Questioning grew intense, as personnel tried to figure out how we gained entrance. “We walked in.”
Walkie-talkies went off. Other security personnel came to question.
We repeatedly told how we entered and how we had been welcomed by a number of museum employees.
Eventually we were sent outside to sit in the woods until the 11 o’clock opening.
I write this because much of the art we experienced addresses the plight of refugees seeking a better life and opportunity by entering America.
By no means did I experience what these seekers have, but I was most assuredly uncomfortable being escorted by a security guard and questioned about my presence.
So what must it feel like to be on the margins hoping to be welcomed?
I can go outside and sit on a bench for a few minutes, then return to be welcomed back in, unlike those who may never receive a welcome.