Volunteer docent Alex Adam explores contemporary art with students at Surrey Art Gallery. (submitted photo: Pardeep Singh/SAG)

Volunteer docent Alex Adam explores contemporary art with students at Surrey Art Gallery. (submitted photo: Pardeep Singh/SAG)

Surrey Art Gallery needs volunteer tour guides for school groups

The next docent training session starts Jan. 31 at Bear Creek Park facility

Have the time and desire to inspire kids through art?

Surrey Art Gallery is looking for volunteers to lead weekday school group tours of its contemporary art exhibitions.

Gallery tour guides, or docents, use questioning techniques and hands-on activities to encourage students to explore a variety of art mediums, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, videos and sound art.

“Docents play an incredible role,” Chris Dawson-Murphy, volunteer program co-ordinator at Surrey Art Gallery, said in a release. “They encourage elementary school students to engage with art from a young age, helping them make connections between art and ideas.”

Experience is not required, and all applicants who have a desire “to learn and contribute to the community and who enjoy art and interacting with children” will be considered.

The next training session starts Jan. 31. New docents receive training and accompany senior docents on tours for the first month. Ongoing training orients docents to new exhibits through lectures and workshops taught by curators, artists and educators.

“It really is the most rewarding volunteer program because of the balance between learning about contemporary artists and sharing the same knowledge gained with youngsters,” stated Fran Dawkins, a volunteer docent who has been with Surrey Art Gallery for more than four years. “Volunteering has become a positive part of my life, a routine that is varied and flexible, interesting and challenging.”

To learn more and apply, visit surrey.ca/artgallery (click on “Volunteer Now” at the bottom of the page), email Chris Dawson-Murphy at artsvolunteer@surrey.ca or call him, 604-501-5198.

• RELATED STORY: With ‘In the Realm of Perception,’ Surrey artist celebrates her first solo show at SAG.

Surrey Art Gallery’s latest exhibitions, opening Jan. 19, are Surrey artist Nicoletta Baumeister’s In the Realm of Perception, Gambler (“an ultimate jigsaw puzzle for visitors to interact with” by Colette Urban) and Triangle Trade (“thought-provoking stories connected to African diasporic experience” in a short film by Camille Turner, Jérôme Havre and Cauleen Smith). Crescent Beach Photography Club’s group exhibit Impressions is also on display in the gallery lobby, at 13750 88th Ave., Bear Creek Park.

On Saturday, Feb. 9, families are invited on an art-related scavenger hunt at the gallery. During the “Art on the Loose” event, from noon to 3 p.m., participants “will have to use their senses and detective skills to complete the challenge. Through the process, they’ll discover a variety of artwork in the gallery and around the Surrey Arts Centre, such as a responsive sound piece and a spinning artwork. Participants are welcome to dress like a detective.” Admission is free.


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