By Melissa Mitchell If you've ever visited the galleries of the UI's Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, chances are you've seen Donald Matejowsky. The chances are even greater that he's seen you. That's because it's Matejowsky's business - as one of the museum's full-time security guards - to keep an eye on all comings and goings in the galleries. And when a patron steps out of line - intentionally, or, in the vast number of cases, unintentionally - the security staff is quick to politely point out museum rules that apply to visitors. For instance, Matejowsky said, "We make sure they don't touch the paintings, don't bring food or drinks into the gallery, and that they check book bags and portfolios." Most of the time, Matejowsky and other members of the security staff - guards Joe Miller, Richard Lee and Glori Yoder, supervisor Alan Middleton, and 10 to 15 part-time student guards - make a conscious effort to be as inconspicuous, unobtrusive and non-threatening as possible to museum visitors. "There's a fine line between being overbearing and not paying attention," Matejowsky said. The key to the job, he added, is "to be alert at all times." When there are 500 people in the museum for a special event, the museum staff focuses much of its attention on damage prevention. For example, Matejowsky said, it's not uncommon for someone to accidentally lean up against an art work while engaged in conversation. And when that happens, the guards are quick to jump in with a tactful, "Excuse me sir, but ...," Matejowsky said. Although it can be a challenge to monitor security when the museum is filled with people for receptions and special events, Matejowsky actually prefers the throngs to times when the visitors are few and far between. "Slow periods are tough," he said, adding that he gets a lot of letters written during university breaks, when the museum sees reduced traffic. But, considering the value of the museum's collection - the second largest in the state outside Chicago - Matejowsky said he never loses sight of the importance of his position. "That crosses my mind quite often, especially down in the Old Masters gallery," he said. In the 15 years that Matejowsky has worked at Krannert, however, there have been few major security problems. "I can only think of two incidents in all that time," he said. "If we do have problems with any of our patrons ... with someone who is being disruptive, we call the University Police." And although Matejowsky is able to apply to his job aspects of the criminal justice training he received at Parkland College, most of his work is focused on public relations functions. "Serving as an emissary for the museum is one of the more important aspects of the job," he said. "When people walk in the door, the first thing they see is the security staff. One of the more important aspects of our job is to make a good impression by creating a relaxed atmosphere and making them feel welcome. "If they feel welcome and enjoy it, then, most likely, they will tell their friends and co-workers what they did over the weekend. And the more people know about the museum, the more they'll come." In his public-relations role, Matejowsky also serves as the Krannert museum's answer man. "People often ask a lot of questions - especially during Moms Weekend," or when other special events attract visitors to the campus. "And they don't just ask questions about the museum, but about Champaign-Urbana ... like where to eat." One of the most frequently asked questions by community members who are more familiar with the museum is, "Where did the bear and gorilla statues go?" The question refers to sculptures by Emmanuel Fremiet, which have been displayed on campus and at Allerton Park. In recent years, they were on view in the bow of the Kinkead Pavilion. They are again at Allerton, where after some refurbishing, they will remain, Matejowsky said. When visitors ask questions about Krannert's permanent collection or about works in the temporary exhibitions, the security staff is usually able to respond to most queries. Before the traveling exhibitions open to the public, the museum's curatorial staff often briefs the guards during short tours scheduled before exhibitions open to the public. If the guards receive a stumper, they refer visitors to someone who knows the answer. In addition to asking questions, patrons also offer their share of comments, Matejowsky said. "People will tell you their opinion on the art flat out, especially if they don't like it." Matejowsky has developed his own views about the art in Krannert's collection, and about art in general. Prior to coming to work at the museum - initially as a high school student with a part-time job - he had only limited interest or knowledge of the visual arts, he said. Over time, however, "I've learned my likes and dislikes regarding art," he said. And, he noted that he's come to learn that "a person's definition of art is their own thing." Matejowsky's "own thing" is "Standing Couple,"a painting in the 20th-century gallery by David Park. For Matejowsky, it's a soothing image that " reminds me of being on vacation with my wife in Florida."