Grafton Gallery Guides Wanted

ART LOVERS in the Clarence Valley - your passion and knowledge is needed.

With a high-profile line-up of exhibitions such as Art Express, JADA and the Archibald Prize on the way, Grafton Regional Gallery is searching for people to become the next crop of volunteer tour guides and is offering a free training course to make it happen.

Called Guiding Light, the course will cover everything volunteers need to know to take groups around the gallery including how to read and explain art works and how to engage tour groups of different ages. A gallery spokesperson said volunteer guides ranged from school-leavers to retirees and were a crucial part of the gallery's team.

"They enjoy an on-going program of training, team building events and activities as well as opportunities to meet artists and engage in creative projects," the spokesperson said. Being a part of the guide team is a great way to support the Grafton Regional Gallery and meet other people in a supported creative environment."

Current volunteer guides, Carole Cairns and Lyn Wilson have both been taking groups around the gallery for more than four years - they said it was a great experience.

"You learn a lot - I know so much more now than when I first started," Carole said."Because the exhibitions change every six weeks or so, there's always something new to experience, too."Lyn said - contrary to popular belief - tour guides didn't have to be expert art critics either.

"You don't have to have a background in art to be a guide - you don't have to have done it at uni or been a teacher - it's just having a love or interest in art which is the main thing," Lyn said.

Both Lyn and Carole both agreed one of the best aspects of their guide role was taking groups of children through the gallery.

"The comments which come from the children are fascinating," Carole said."Children will see things - they'll pick things up in a piece of art, we might not normally notice."

The course will run between 11am and 3pm every Monday for four weeks from October 17 - to register interest or for more information call the gallery on 66423177.

Visit the photo galleries at www.dailyexaminer.com.au to see some of the works currently on show at the gallery.



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