The volunteers who work at Belfast Exposed play a hugely important role in the way the gallery operates on a day-to-day basis. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday for 5 hours a day and between them the BX volunteers work 25 hours a week to ensure that visitors are welcomed and information about current and upcoming exhibitions is shared in a variety of different ways.
Many of our volunteers are artists and photographers or involved in the arts at some level. We have therefore started to develop projects that enable them to explore various aspects of the organisation and to put forward ideas and proposals.
We have just commenced Volunteers Curate, a project that will provide our volunteers with the opportunity to organize/curate an exhibition this summer. The process of producing a final exhibition will allow the participating volunteers to experience and learn–in a hands-on way–about all aspects of curating: researching and developing ideas for an exhibition; applying for funding; working with artists; installing and marketing and documenting the process and the show. The final exhibition will be the visual result of this explorative and experimental curatorial process.
Over a six-month period the volunteers will work as a group to curate the exhibition and a series of workshops will take place for the group to brainstorm on ideas for the project. Each discussion will be mentored and Chaired by a member of the BX Exhibitions team. External curators will be invited to BX to share their experience and methods of curating, opening up discussion on different curatorial models.
The exhibition will be curated within the framework of the 30-year anniversary of Belfast Exposed and could possibly refer-to, or discuss aspects of, the organisation’s history and output over the last 30 years.
Volunteers can play towards their strengths and become more involved in different aspects of the exhibition process. For example, marketing, technical skills, writing, organising events/talks, curating, funding applications.
The learning process will be documented for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation program.