My Work Experience at the Art Gallery
I am a student completing my third year of Bachelor of Visual Arts specializing in Painting, at the Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic. I have recently completed fifteen hours of voluntary work at the Ashburton Art Gallery. I spent three very interesting days immersed in the practical daily workings of a Public Art Gallery. I discovered that there is an enormous amount of work that the staff and volunteers do behind the scenes.
Being involved in the hanging of works for an exhibition was fascinating. Hanging the works for an exhibition requires meticulous work; ranging from the initial preparation of the walls, including filling, sanding and repainting areas, as well as arranging and hanging the works. Placement of the works involves precise measurements and calculations as well as an artistic eye. All artworks are handled with great care and gloves are worn when handling them to prevent any contamination or damage. There are two trolleys loaded with tools ranging from electric drills to a vast array of nails and screws. Shirin, Nicole, Simone and Emily work as an efficient team to get the exhibition hung on time.
Simone organizes the various art clubs on offer. The Art Addicts Club immerses the children in a fun, creative learning environment. They have the opportunity to try using a variety of art media. Simone organizes a different theme for each weekly session. The day I helped they were creating prints by scratching their designs on foam, inking and printing. Lots of creative fun to be had.
I also experienced Front of House duties with Emily. Welcoming visitors, informing them about the current exhibitions and ensuring they have a positive gallery experience. She also manages the gift shop as well as a variety of administrative tasks. I really enjoyed making clay display bowls and assisting with presentation of the wonderful range of unique designer jewellery in the shop display. It was also great to be surrounded by great art each day.
I had a very interesting and informative experience with the team at the Ashburton Art Gallery and am grateful to Shirin, Nicole, Simone and Emily for their mentorship during my work placement. It was a great experience