I am pleased to say that I have been contacted by McClelland Galleries and every second Thursday from 11am I will be on the grounds learning about all the sculptures, artists and their materials and methods to help me be a great volunteer in the Educational Department.
Imogen has great plans for this department which could see my duties enhanced in future to make use of my Diploma of Visual Art and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
At the meeting to introduce us all to each other and give us a hint as to what we will be doing I had an enjoyable and informative time. We were given a tour of the current exhibition in the gallery which at present is the “Beyond the Self” portrait exhibit. As I learned more about the artist’s thinking behind the works and their personal and cultural backgrounds the individual sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs and videos gained interest for me as a viewer and as a practising artist.
This understanding of the artists along with a certain amount of research into the history and social issues in their country of origin helps to engage viewers with not only the artworks but the person behind it. The involvement and enthusiasm of the guide or facilitator is what will help to make the engagement more memorable. It may even inspire some to participate in some part of the arts a little more as their own personal interest or journey of exploration.
We went out into the sculpture park after a hot coffee in the gallery cafe and went for a walk to start becoming familiar with the layout and some of the works. Even in winter the quiet and the tranquillity of the trails is really worth it. The encounter with pieces that you may have seen before can be like meeting up with an old friend, or can shine a new light on one (literally) as you see it in the setting of a different season. The park is always trying to move things around and introduce new works, as well as holding regular exhibitions, so there is always the chance of discovering something new as well.
On a personal note, I love going for a walk to see the birds and look at the natural scenery in the park. I have taken photos there as references for paintings in the past and today found a few places I would like to go back to soon to do some more photography. It is also a great place to give your mind a bit of a rest or meet with friends over a lunch or afternoon tea with an “arty” theme for the day.
I am looking forward to the workshops and educational sessions in the future. I have a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and am hoping that I can pass on my love of art and some of the enthusiasm I have for it by being a part of some innovative and fun sessions.
Volunteering at McClelland is a great win-win for me and the gallery – and visitors as well. I am very proud and grateful for this opportunity. Hopefully I will be able to blog and post editorials about events and my new experiences as they arise in the coming months and they will inspire others to come along and join in.