Next year the Bendigo Art Gallery guides will celebrate 30 years of continuous service to the gallery and community.
My work with the guide’s has been a source of joy. It has taught me many things; mainly that working for the community brings out the best in people and results in a wonderful team spirit. There is much goodwill in the Bendigo Art Gallery Voluntary Guides towards the gallery and towards each other.
We 35 guides are committed to the Bendigo Art Gallery as a public institution and to its collection, which is an important cultural resource to be used and enjoyed by visitors.
As the gallery has developed, the guides have responded to each change by adapting their role.
We greet the public, offer tours, and do much to ensure that the experience of the art works is rewarding and pleasurable for visitors in a way we would show friends around in our own homes.
The gallery has approximately 5000 works in its collection (not all on show at the same time!) and has a rich and varied exhibition program, which stimulates interest, attracts visitors and gives the public an opportunity to see art work otherwise unavailable in Bendigo.
We encourage as many people as possible to come as often as possible. A close connection with art improves people’s intellectual faculties and provides a time out from our daily stresses. It is a great way to spend time with friends and family.
Guides initially train for twelve months, this education includes curators talks, guest art lectures, practicing artist talks, art history lectures and develop an understanding of the gallery’s collection, which includes information about paintings, sculpture, glass, silver, porcelain, furniture and new media.
Excursions to other galleries and a knowledge of the gallery building and its function are also required.
Great importance is placed on the ongoing education and training of our guides.
We have all been privileged to be part of the process of becoming a guide with new horizons opening up every week.
Bendigo Art Gallery