Before we look forward to what is set to be an incredible year for the Holburne, we thought this was a good opportunity to reflect on your achievements and celebrate all that you have done or been involved in.
We started 2014 with extended hours as the Museum hosted Patrick Woodroffe’s outdoor light installation, Light to Light. Hiring headsets and selling glow sticks to the public you continued to amaze us with your, commitment despite freezing cold temperatures and a sea of mud.
This first quarter of the year we engaged you in training for three brand new exhibitions
Joseph Wright of Derby, Bath and Beyond. Picasso in 3D and Kathy Dalwood’s, A Ballroom Banquet. Kathy Dalwood’s exhibition on the Ballroom Table offered the opportunity to 3 of our volunteers to help install her work.
In February the Volunteers attended the BANES Chairman’s, Business and Community Awards, where once again they had been nominated for ‘Best Volunteer Team in BANES’. We narrowly missed out to worthy opponents ‘Volunteers for Age UK’.
The spring saw a new recruitment drive for Education Volunteers. After induction and training this new team helped with many of the spring activities including the Easter Art Camps and the annual Easter Eggstravaganza!
At the end of April another of our Volunteers, Joshua Michael was given a paid position as he replaced Duty Manager Faunsia Tucker, as she moved on to the V&A. Josh has previously been volunteering with us whilst studying at Bath Spa University.
Our summer exhibitions once again saw more opportunities for volunteers to take very hands on approach. Our Julian Opie summer show included outdoor art works which our team of collection cleaners kept beautifully presented. However it was the work of contemporary artist Tessa Farmer that gave our volunteers some of the most incredible experience we have been able to offer. A team of 5 volunteers joined Tessa and Catrin Jones (curator of Decorative arts) for 10 days as they not only had to remove and replace our central collection in the Posnett Gallery but also install and in some cases create parts of the exhibition ‘Unwelcome Visitors’. All our gallery stewards rose to the challenge of telling Tessa’s story in the most incredible way to ensure this summer success.
The Holburne celebrated National Volunteer week with a big summer party in the back garden to say ‘Thank you’ to all of our volunteers. In addition to the evenings celebrations we also honoured a number of our volunteers with outstanding contribution awards for their on- going commitment and had work. Among the recipients were Trish Tassis, Undine Concannon , Jennifer Bereska and Neil Kennedy.
During the summer the Holburne was approached by Bath Contemporary studios as they began their hunt for a new trainee. After hearing about the Holburne Volunteer programme and the successes that many of its participants have had, they decided that Instead of advertising this role, they would only offer it to graduates that were volunteering at the Holburne Museum. After putting together a short list and mentoring them through the application and interview process, Volunteer Oliver Adams was awarded the paid position and began work immediately.
A focus back on the collection formed the last quarter of the year, with training lectures such as Dutch paintings and fascinating facts form our collection.
The core team continued to grow as 50 new Volunteers joined the team as well as students from Bath Spa University, University of Bath, Corsham School and Ralph Allen School.
25 of our Volunteers took part in the annual lantern procession and also continue to support the Up Late series by turning out to keep our galleries open until 9pm on the last Friday in each month. You entered into the Christmas spirit in early November by ensuring our extended Christmas shop could remain open and enjoyed a well-deserved drink at the Volunteer Christmas party.
Phew - What a Year!
This year you have given us an incredible 35,364 hours of your time and we cannot begin to thank you enough for this. Through challenge, through triumph you have once again made the Holburne Museum one of the most welcoming, interesting and engaging Museums in the country.
Thank you so much, we simply could do anything without your support and commitment.
Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and looking forward to sharing all the excitements of 2015 with you
Spencer, Steven, Georgie and Josh