Categories
Volunteer

National Volunteer Week

Supporting BNG

National Volunteer Week, which takes place from April 18-24, was established in 1974 to recognize and reflect upon the incredible impact of those who volunteer their time and services to the community. We’d like to take this opportunity to extend a big thank you to each and every one of our volunteers who play a vital role in sustaining the Bermuda National Gallery. ⠀⠀

Currently, BNG has 40 active volunteers who work across various sectors of the gallery – from welcoming visitors at the front desk, to assisting with exhibitions and events, to sitting on committees and advising at board level. Between them they donate close to 2,000 pro bono hours per year, the equivalent to a financial donation of $40,000.

Volunteers are integral to the growth and ongoing work of the Bermuda National Gallery. They bring skills and knowledge that complement and supplement those of the staff — their passion and insight enhance the work we do in every way. BNG wouldn’t be such a dynamic arts and culture institution without their support.

We caught up with two of volunteers, Christine Larrivee  and Charles Webbe, to thank them for their time and find out what volunteering at BNG means to them. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Christine Larrivee

BNG: How long have you been volunteering at BNG? 

CL: I’m very much the new face at the gallery having just started to volunteer with BNG this year. I’ve really been enjoying it so far! I’ve engaged with the gallery a number of ways in the past, and now that I’m not working full-time I have the time to volunteer, which is a completely different and fantastic experience.

BNG: What do you do in your capacity as a volunteer? 

CL: During my short time volunteering, I’ve assisted with an event, two installations, mail outs, front desk and some behind the scenes work in the back spaces of the gallery. I absolutely love how I can experience so many different facets of BNG through volunteering and see how the institution functions and serves its community. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet some lovely people during my time there!

BNG: You recently assisted with the installation of both Illusion & Abstraction: Capturing the Landscape and I Am Because You Are by Gherdai Hassell. Did your involvement influence your understanding of the artwork in any way? 

CL: Assisting with the recent installations most certainly influenced my understanding of and relationship with the artwork, particularly with Gherdai Hassell’s I Am Because You Are.  Helping to map out, install, problem solve, and work directly with the artist made the art so much more of an immersive experience for me. It was a privilege to have that relationship with the exhibition!

Seeing Gherdai work through any challenges that presented themselves during installation and hearing her personally explain the art as it went up was an unparalleled window into the work I’ve never experienced before. It’s one thing to walk into a gallery and see such a stunning display, but to have assisted with many aspects of getting it on the wall and seeing it come to fruition made me feel like a small part of it and helped me better find my own meaning and viewpoint in the art itself.

BNG: What has been the most enjoyable part of your experience? 

CL: I’ve enjoyed every aspect of volunteering with BNG and there have been personal benefits at every step. I love getting out of the house and into the gallery, no matter what we’re doing that particular day. It’s spectacular getting the behind-the-scenes experience of the gallery and interacting with the collections currently on exhibit.

Learning how an institution such as the Bermuda National Gallery operates is so eye-opening and educational. Meeting all the different people who come through the doors is also great fun! The events are so lovely and such a pleasure to be a part of. Most of all, the deeper connection to the artwork has changed the way I experience the pieces and installations in this gallery. I’m looking forward to continuing to volunteer with BNG and can’t wait to see what’s next! 


Charles Webbe

BNG: How long have you been volunteering at BNG? 

CW:  I asked to be considered as a volunteer at the Gallery after being inspired by the late Michael Daniels. Both of us had roots in the hospitality industry and I was moved to see how after retirement he had taken on a new life through volunteering. His were big shoes to fill in that regard, but some two years ago I was taken on and what a joy it has been and continues to be.

BNG: What do you do in your capacity as a volunteer?   

CW: During my three-hour stint every week, I welcome visitors and in some cases show them around and field telephone calls. It may seem dull but being surrounded by art tends to brighten the day.

BNG: What is your background and how are your skills able to benefit the gallery?

CW: I do not have a background in art and I cannot claim to be capable of using a brush and canvas with any degree of skill; I do, however, consider myself a collector (a modest collector), having purchased my first piece of art by a Japanese artist at the age of 18. I still have it. My most treasured piece is Storm in a Teacup by Charles Lloyd Tucker, which has been exhibited at BNG and at my and my wife’s demise will be donated to the Gallery.

Today, I enjoy what could be regarded as an eclectic collection and since I could not afford to add a wing to my house to accommodate purchases, I have farmed out many pieces to a family member and put a halt to further acquisitions.

With a background in hospitality, tourism and journalism I believe I bring skills to the Gallery that can be favourably utilized if and when needed.

BNG: Why is it important to you to support the BNG? 

CW: It is important to me (or anyone else for that matter) to support the Bermuda National Galley, as it is an enhancement to the island’s culture through its repository of local and international art.

BNG: What has been the most enjoyable part of your experience as a volunteer? 

CW: One of the most enjoyable parts of my experience as a volunteer is observing the children who come into the Gallery, whether with parents, or as an escorted school group. What an ideal opportunity for them to learn at an early age to appreciate art in all its forms.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Bermuda National Gallery please contact Lara Hetzel, Volunteer and Operations Officer, at volunteer@bng.bm

Categories
Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities

Join the BNG Family

Volunteers are integral to the growth and ongoing work of the Bermuda National Gallery. Our volunteers bring skills and knowledge that complement and supplement those of the staff — their passion and insight enhance the work we do in every way.

Presently, we have volunteers that serve as front desk hosts, event staff and that assist with exhibition installation needs, along with committee and board members who also volunteer their time. Moving forward, we’re eager to expand upon volunteer support surrounding gallery docent tours, graphic design, photography and videography, outreach and fundraising, curatorial and administrative projects and BNG education programmes.

It’s a great time to get on board as a BNG volunteer — whatever your availability, background and experience, there is a niche to suit your skills and interests somewhere at the gallery!

Our new Volunteer and Operations Officer Lara Hetzel is currently recruiting. We sat down with her to discuss how volunteering at BNG can support the gallery and help to develop new skills in those who volunteer their time.

Top: Gherdai Hassell gives the Bermuda National Gallery volunteers a preview of her solo exhibition I Am Because You Are.
Above: Volunteer and Operations Officer Lara Hetzel.

BNG: You’ve joined the gallery at a very busy time! We have just opened two new exhibitions. How have you spent your first month?

LH: It has certainly been an exciting time to join the BNG team! Although the front doors were closed for most of February, a great deal was going on behind the scenes. My very first week was dedicated to deinstalling the BNG’s previous exhibitions (the 2020 Bermuda Biennial, and What’s Poppin’! Pop Art and Its Influence), which was followed by a quick pivot to the install of the new shows (I Am Because You Are, and Illusion & Abstraction: Capturing the Landscape).

I’ve also been meeting the fantastic current volunteers and learning the ropes with regards to the day-to-day needs of the gallery. My experience has been very hands-on from day one!

BNG: Part of your role is to support the daily operations of the gallery. What aspects of this have you been most struck by since joining the team?

LH: I’ve found that “daily operations” at BNG can be wide-ranging: everything from overseeing the gallery’s physical facilities, to liaising with artists and lenders, to photographing artwork for the gallery’s online exhibition portal, to scheduling the volunteer calendar.

Due to my role, I’m lucky to have a hand in every pot, and to have the opportunity to work closely with staff, volunteers, external contractors and the general public. While the full-time staff are a small (but mighty!) group, so many people play a vital role in the Bermuda National Gallery’s operations and I’ve been struck by the energy and enthusiasm of everyone involved with the gallery.

BNG: Do you hope to recruit more volunteers? What sort of support/ skill sets are you looking for?

LH: It’s a great time to join the BNG as a volunteer — there are lots of opportunities whatever your availability, background and experience.

I’m also excited to work directly with our new Education Officer to build up the volunteer opportunities available at the gallery for students, many of whom now seek out community service as part of their education.

BNG: Volunteers often lead docent tours and assist at events. As Bermuda tackles the ongoing Covid pandemic, how do you see volunteer opportunities affected?

LH: Like all cultural institutions locally and overseas, BNG has had to adjust to the “new normal” under Covid-19. With staggered time slots, social distancing and limited admission, we’ve been fortunate to be able to safely host openings, talks and tours surrounding our new exhibitions, supported by volunteers, and hope to continue in the future, as appropriate with current restrictions.

With an increased focus on digital access, the gallery has also been exploring live-streamed events (as with artist Gherdai Hassell’s recent talk — still archived on our Instagram page), and expanded online exhibition coverage, among other initiatives. There’s a great opportunity for volunteers with digital and social media experience to meaningfully contribute to that work.

BNG: In what ways can volunteering at the Bermuda National Gallery help to support someone’s personal goals and/or develop their resume?

LH: We hope that volunteers with BNG find the experience mutually rewarding! In addition to the satisfaction of meaningfully contributing to their community and engaging with the richness of the Bermudian and global arts scene, we aim to supplement our volunteers’ own development through cultural programming, such as exclusive volunteer previews and exhibition walk-throughs with BNG artists, and a fulfilling range of embedded opportunities and projects.

Volunteering is a great way to explore and develop your own skills and interests, at any age!

If you are interested in volunteering at the Bermuda National Gallery, please contact volunteer@bng.bm with a brief summary of your interests and availability.

Categories
Volunteer

National Volunteer Week

Supporting BNG

This week is National Volunteer Week and to celebrate we wanted to shine a light on some of the volunteers who play a vital role in supporting the BNG.

We have 30 active volunteers who work across various sectors of the gallery. Between them they donate close to 2,000 hours per year, the equivalent to a financial donation of $40,000.   

We caught up with a couple of our volunteers to thank them for their time and to find out what volunteering at the Bermuda National Gallery means to them.

Holly Mazar-Fox

BNG: What do you do in your capacity as a volunteer?

H M-F: I’ve had the privilege of assisting the gallery with a few exciting projects, including brainstorming possible exhibitions ideas for the upcoming year.  Most recently, I’ve been helping out with the education platform, creating the content for the activity books for kids related to the current Biennial and providing tours for school groups.  

BNG: How did you start volunteering at the gallery and how long have you been there?

H M-F: I’m a new recruit and began volunteering in February of this year (2020). 

BNG: What is your background and how are your skills able to benefit the gallery?

H M-F: I have an art history education in addition to work experience in the arts (across Canada, the US and the UK).  My experiences within different sectors of the art industry enable me to assist the gallery team with delivering new endeavors through curation, education and community interaction.

BNG: Why is it important to you to support the BNG?

H M-F: It is important for me because institutions like the Bermuda National Gallery support brilliant and talented artists on the island whose voices need to be heard within a global art world. Art connects us and it is fitting for me to give my time to the gallery that in turn is a beacon for Bermudian culture, creativity and connectivity. 

BNG: What is the most enjoyable part of your role?

H M-F: Sharing my passion and knowledge of art with others. I sincerely believe that art should be accessible to all. I am passionate about helping the team to bring new audiences to the gallery and new art enthusiasts through the doors. I love (and strive!) to ignite a lifelong passion in young people about the beauty of art and its study. 


Dr Charles Zuill

BNG: What do you do in your capacity as a volunteer?

CZ: As A volunteer over the years since the BNG opened isn 1992, I have done many different things.  As chair of the exhibitions committee from 1992 to 1999, I was involved with promoting exhibitions and often generating exhibitions.  

From 1999 to 2005 I was away from Bermuda, teaching art history at Andrews University in Michigan but was in constant contact with the BNG and was frequently back in Bermuda. It was at this time I stepped down as an active BNG trustee and became a Founding Trustee.

After my return to Bermuda in 2005, I was asked to chair the Collections Committee.  This I did until I left Bermuda this past January to once again teach art history temporarily in Tennessee, filling in for a professor who was going on a sabbatical.  This was cut short  because of the the Coronavirus. pandemic.  Thus I find myself back in Bermuda, but in lockdown ever since my return almost six weeks ago.

BNG: What is your background and how are your skills able to benefit the gallery?

CZ: I was involved on the initial steering committee that did the legwork for establishing the BNG.  That was an amazing team and that we were able to pull it off, when other earlier attempts had failed is still as great wonder to me.

BNG: Why is it important to support the BNG?

CZ:  The arts are vital in that it makes tangible the identity and soul of a community.

BNG: What is the most enjoyable part of your role?

CZ:  I have had a life-long love of the arts and I enjoy sharing that love. The Bermuda National Gallery is an important venue for me to share that passion.  Also at the BNG I have met so many others who likewise have that passion.  That is always a source of great joy.


Gail Geiger

BNG: What do you do as in your capacity as a volunteer?  

GG: I have the pleasure of opening the doors of the gallery on a Saturday morning. From 10am to 12 noon I welcome visitors to the Gallery and introduce them to the current exhibit. 

BNG: How long have you been volunteering for? 

GG: Over six years now.

BNG: What is your background and how are your skills able to benefit the gallery?

GG: Back in the day when Laura Gorham was the director of the BNG, I worked at the gallery as the registrar.  It is during this time that I learned the importance of handling and caring for art works.  

BNG: Why is it important to you to support the BNG?  

GG: It is important to me for visitors to see what magnificent exhibits are presented and how talented our local artists are.  My volunteering along with many others makes this possible.

BNG: What is the most enjoyable part of your role?

GG: I’m always amazed to see the reaction and hear the response from first time local visitors to BNG.  They are surprised to see world class exhibits so close to home. It’s like they found the gem of City Hall!

If you possess a love of art and would like to get involved at the Bermuda National Gallery please email volunteer@bng.bm