Gallery Guide Tracey Watchurst has a background in arts and education. She says she loves experiencing art through the children: “Children see through to some truth in the art and they see things we’ve forgotten to look for…and they also see the obvious.”
Integral to our education programs, Gallery Guides interpret and animate the exhibitions in ways that are engaging for learners of all ages. They lead group tours and assist in facilitating hands-on workshops as part of our Tour/Workshop Program.
WHY VOLUNTEER AS A GALLERY GUIDE?
- Develop new and existing skills
- Enhance your resume and gain work experience
- Learn from artists, curators and art educators
- Share your enthusiasm for art and inspire creative engagement in others
- Have fun and enjoy being part of the only public art gallery in our region
“The tours are a wonderful opportunity for local children to see the world inside a gallery. I especially love the planned activities that give students the chance to enjoy the art exhibits and experiment with their own creativity. Kudos to the staff for making the Thunder Bay Art Gallery a welcoming place for students and volunteers” (Wendy Jickling, retired teacher and past Gallery Guide).
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
We value diversity and invite applications from individuals who:
- Are curious and self-motivated teachers/facilitators
- Have an interest in art and want to share it with others
- Have a desire to learn more about the artists and exhibitions on view
- Enjoy people and facilitating groups, especially children and youth
- Speak French fluently (not at all required, but certainly an asset)
- Have flexible weekday schedules (school tours take place mornings and afternoons from September through June)
- Want to help the Thunder Bay Art Gallery provide a rewarding experience for all visitors
Retired teachers are always welcome!
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN BECOMING A GALLERY GUIDE?
If you love art and have facilitated groups (ideally children or youth), no other experience is necessary! You will learn about our renowned collection, as well as local and travelling exhibitions through behind-the-scenes tours and informal discussions. With your commitment to continuous learning, we will ensure you have the training needed to comfortably conduct group tours with confidence.
New volunteers receive training in the following ways:
- Introductory Training Session – an overview of the Gallery, our mandate and Permanent Collection, as well as some effective touring strategies will be covered.
- Shadowing – be part of the audience by following a tour conducted by the Educator. Shadowing an experienced guide enables volunteers to become more familiar with additional touring strategies and the Gallery’s resources.
- Ongoing Learning – commitment to attending a meeting each time a new exhibition opens (approx every 4-6 weeks) is required in order to learn about the artists, the works on view, and the workshop activities in preparation for your own tours.
Once the initial training is completed, Gallery Guides are expected to conduct a few tours each month. Depending on your availability and the number of tours scheduled, this could involve anywhere from 6-15 hours per month of your time.
Co-op Placement and Community Hours
We accept secondary and post-secondary co-op students with an interest in art and a desire to volunteer!
We also facilitate internships from Lakehead University’s Faculty of Education and Department of Visual Arts.
Art Class Assistant
Art class assistants aid visiting instructors and encourage participants to explore their own creative process in a supportive atmosphere. Our assistants aim to ensure that participants of all ages have a fun and fulfilling art class experience.
Our Educator, Vivian Wood-Alexander, is always happy to answer your questions about volunteering with Education Programs at the Gallery!
Contact her at 577-6427 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.