I'm doing something new right now. I'm posting from the reception desk of the Refinery Art Space gallery; I'm their volunteer relief receptionist for the afternoon.
In the last year or so I've been helped by a lot of arts organizations, art galleries and other artists. I like the camaraderie of the arts community in Nelson, and in my small ways, I've been wanting to give something back.
When Martin Rodgers was the head of Arts Marketing, he let me do office work for a few hours on a few occasion. I'd like to think knowing how these organizations support artists keeps me grounded, and I get to learn more about Nelson art and artists. I've also relieved Lloyd on one occasion at Arts Council.
I was asked if I can help out at the Refinery late last year, and I jumped at the opportunity. This is a new and exciting gallery that's rebranded itself last September, and I want to get involved as a Nelson art aficionado, and I support the direction the gallery is heading. I had a meeting with Deb Hunter and agreed tentatively to be a relief receptionist in the foreseeable future.
Tentative and foreseeable only, because though I like being asked, I hate not being able to comply, and last year, because I felt I was so busy, I had to decline more often than comply, especially Lloyd's requests, and I hate that. My desire to contribute is genuine, but my actions said otherwise.
I wish I could be more generous with my time, but I struggle with time management, work/life balance and procrastination, and I believe the right thing for me to do just now is to concentrate on my weaving. Yet all these public art organizations are underfunded and understaffed, and in Nelson, as it probably is true around the world, they are supported by many selfless volunteers. I'd like to grow into one of those people who say "yes" readily and lightheartedly; it's one of my criteria for aging gracefully, quite separate from weaving and arts and such considerations.
I've also been helping a fellow weaver, Sue Bateup, in a small way this summer, but that's a whole separate post.