Students show commitment to the art of volunteering at BAS9
University of Wolverhampton School of Art students have shown a commitment to the art of volunteering by being on hand to help people visiting the British Art Show 9 (BAS9) exhibition in Wolverhampton.
BAS9 is recognised as the most important and ambitious recurrent exhibition of contemporary art produced in the UK. Taking place every five years it brings the work of artists defining new directions in contemporary art to four UK cities. This is the first time Wolverhampton has been chosen to host the show and work is currently being exhibited at the University of Wolverhampton School of Art and Wolverhampton Art Gallery until 10 April 2022.
28 Student Volunteers who have studied or are studying degree courses in the School of Art have volunteered to work throughout the exhibition, directing and helping visitors, dealing with enquiries and making sure the artwork is safe and secure throughout the day.
Margot McClane, BAS9 Volunteer Co-ordinator at the University, said: “The volunteers who have taken the time to help out and work at BAS9 have been the absolute backbone of the exhibition. They’ve been a great asset to the University, undertaking a variety of tasks and being on-hand to answer any questions or queries. Their love of art and the creative industries has really shone through and we can’t thank them enough for their commitment during this exciting time for both the School of Art and the City of Wolverhampton.”
Stephen Andrews, 71, a recent Master’s in Fine Art graduate from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, said. “I volunteered for BAS9 because I wanted to touch base again with the School of Art. It was like coming home as I’d practically lived here for two years while I was studying. I also wanted to give a little bit back, and I knew it would be useful for me giving me the opportunity to meet people and make acquaintances with other local artists.
“It’s been very interesting meeting people who have travelled to see the exhibition from all over the country but also local people who might not usually engage with art have popped in to take a look. Everyone has felt quite privileged that we’ve been chosen as a venue and I think it’s been very beneficial for the City.”
Stephen studied for two years, part-time. He is an architect by profession and is winding down his practice. He has always had a strong interest in art and felt that it was time to apply himself in a rigorous way. He is now working as a fine artist from his studio space in Wolverhampton.
Jasmine Wilson, 25, a Fine Art degree student in her final year from Cambridgeshire, said. “The facilities at the School of Art are fantastic – especially the Print Room facilities – and this really felt like the place for me.
“I volunteered to work at BAS9 because I feel like it’s a great way to meet people who enjoy art and I really love being surrounded by art. Seeing our student workspace being turned into an exhibition space was amazing, it’s been completely transformed and that’s quite thought-provoking. It’s been amusing seeing people’s reactions to some of the work and I’ve been able to talk to people about the work on display to help them understand the process of creating. It’s been really good fun.”
Hayley Tolley, 24, a Fine Art final year student from the West Midlands, said: “I was really excited about BAS9 coming here because I wanted to be around the artwork, sit with it, make sure it’s safe whilst at the same time experience it for myself. Also, volunteering is really good for your CV, and I’ve learned such a lot about curating, the experience has been really good for me.
“There’s been a real breadth of people visiting, from toddlers through to mature visitors and the questions they’ve asked have been really interesting – most people want to understand why the art is made, and this has really opened it up to the public. It’s also put the School of Art and the Art Gallery on the map.”
Last chance to see the exhibition at Wolverhampton School of Art, George Wallis Building (MK), Molineux St, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DT. Entry to the exhibitions is FREE and it is open every day until 10 April, Monday to Saturday: 10:30am - 4:30pm | Sunday: 11am – 4pm. Members of the public are free to enter at any time during the show's opening hours.
Follow the students on Instagram @_jasmine_wilson_ @Stephenandrews239 and @Hayleytolleyart.
Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days.
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