By Helen Dickman, volunteer at Kettle’s Yard
Having grown up in Cambridge, I’ve always loved visiting Kettle’s Yard – weekly visits to the House were arguably what kept me sane during my A Levels! As anyone who has visited will agree, there is something instantly relaxing about being in the House. Since completing my History of Art degree at UCL, and writing my dissertation on the British artist Francis Bacon, I discovered I had a new-found interest in modern and post-war art, which Kettle’s Yard was perfect for!
The Kettle’s Yard programme of events also drew me to volunteer here. There is so much on offer for everyone, no matter what age. I was keen to be a part of inspiring people about art and publicising what’s on offer, and so volunteering here with the marketing and communications team seemed like the obvious choice!
I have been volunteering at Kettle’s Yard since March 2019. Because of the busy and ever-changing nature of the department, I’ve been lucky enough to get involved with a really wide variety of tasks. I’ve learnt a lot about digital marketing, from events listing, to social media content creation. I have always been interested in visual content and photography, and so creating digital content has also allowed me to be creative, which has been great!
I’ve also really enjoyed how the marketing and communications team has to be connected to every part of the gallery and the House. You have to be aware of everything that’s going on, whether that be the latest exhibitions, family events, or what the other University of Cambridge museums are doing. It therefore allows you to be involved with all different aspects of life at Kettle’s Yard.
If you are looking to get into a career in the art world, then volunteering in a museum or gallery provides you with a great basis in whatever area you choose to work in. Volunteering is also a chance to find out what you enjoy and to gain experience in it before applying for full time jobs. When I finished university, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do within museums, but since volunteering here I know I want a career in art communications.
Volunteering is also a chance to meet new and likeminded people and do something fun and different. The thing that connects everyone working in galleries and museums is their love of art and the collections. Some of my closest friends have come out of my museum jobs as we have the same interests and enjoy going to art events and exhibitions together.
Thanks to our incredible Communications Volunteer Helen Dickman for sharing her experience with us. Want to Volunteer at Kettle’s Yard? Click here to find out more.