volunteering and elsewhere
December 1, 2014 § 1 Comment
untitled by Lois Ann Barnett
Since August, I’ve been volunteering at the NIAD Art Center in Richmond. Richmond isn’t exactly close (actually, it’s not close at all) and I’m terrible with commuting anywhere that isn’t within 5-minute walking distance of my apartment (going outside the apartment is sometimes a big feat in itself—#embarrassing). So why have I been volunteering?
Basically, I just wanted to try something new and see where that leads me. I’ve been working as a writer (and a bunch of other roles that weren’t in my title) for fashion companies since I graduated from college. I’m still interested in fashion, but other things like art, illustration, books and film have been far more interesting to me lately. I also just wanted to see what it’d be like to work for free, which I know sounds ridiculous to pretty much every person living in San Francisco, plus being a girl makes this harder (“Your career! You’re a woman, you should be working hard all the time and tweeting pseudo-feminist quotes and haven’t you read #GIRLBOSS?”)*, but I felt like I haven’t had any personally rewarding experiences working the grind. I certainly didn’t feel happier.** Freelancing works for now as I figure shit out. And I need some space to breathe. Hence, NIAD.
untitled by Sara Malpass
During my time volunteering, I’ve become a big fan of NIAD. They showcase awesome art by artists with disabilities and they don’t modify art to make it more marketable (as many art centers like theirs do). NIAD’s gallery director Tim Buckwalter is pretty cool, too, in an enthusiastically honest, weird-funny way (which is so the best kind of funny). Plus, there’s an amazing taco truck parked across the street from the gallery. Friends know this from my snapchats of tacos with the overlay text “Daaaaaaamn” followed by a snapchat of an empty, grease-covered paper plate.
Tim asked me to curate an online exhibit for NIAD and so I did! It’s called Elsewhere and features the work of artists such as Lois Ann Barnett, Marlon Mullen and Bubba Trieber. You can see their full inventory of art (all for sale) on their Tumblr. And if you like the Elsewhere exhibit, check out more of my favorite NIAD art on my NIAD Pinterest board.
*People like this are the worst and you should avoid them because they are basic. Do what you need to do. You don’t have to do everything or overcompensate.
**I would do a blog post on how your career and job are like dating and relationships, but the short version goes like this: A job with flashy job perks, without a real foundation, is like the really hot boyfriend. The flashiness will fade and you’ll be left with a really shitty person. (I got the metaphors mixed together, but you get the point).