Linda Petrie (left) and Sue Wood are valued volunteers at the Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum …
Volunteers play an important role at the Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum and are often the first people visitors meet when they walk through the doors.
They also help behind the scenes at exhibitions and collections and are highly regarded for their time, skills and energy.
Linda Petrie has volunteered at the art gallery for many years and has hosted many visitors, as well as helped plaster, paint and paint the walls between exhibits.
âIt is a privilege to be a volunteer. We meet travelers and locals who are interested in art. There is always a conversation to be had about this exhibit, other exhibits that they have enjoyed and where they are from or are going in New Zealand.
âWe can represent our city and our neighborhood in a positive light. “
Linda volunteered at the âoldâ gallery and was happy to continue when the gallery and museum moved to their new building on West Street in 2015.
âBeing part of the behind-the-scenes activities was a revelation. I hadn’t realized how much work and time it took to prepare a new exhibition.
âThe gallery team is very welcoming and appreciates the small jobs we do as volunteers. Being there as the Front of House allows staff to focus on their many other responsibilities.
Sue Wood has been a museum volunteer since 2019.
âA friend who was also a volunteer told me that the museum was looking for more interested people and that once I retired I wanted to do more in the community. I thought the museum would be interesting.
“I enjoy the rotating exhibits in the Murney Hall, especially given the wide variety of exhibits and their relevance to our local people.”
Volunteers are given a variety of tasks, depending on their interests and strengths. Sue greets visitors to the museum and makes sure they realize that their visit is free.
âMany visitors give rave reviews after their visit and are sometimes surprised that a small town has such a large museum.
“During the school holidays in particular, it’s great to see all the young people participating so enthusiastically in our activities and their parents are very appreciative of what is on offer.”
Community Services Group Director Steve Fabish said all volunteers at the facility are highly valued and appreciated for their knowledge and reliability.
âThey are absolutely essential to operations and many play an important role in improving the visitor experience.
âOur front desk volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, but are all knowledgeable, friendly and eager to discuss Ashburton’s heritage or our latest art exhibit. Our behind-the-scenes volunteers work just as hard and often play a major role in setting up and opening a new exhibit on time.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum, please contact us.