Artist painting on an easel (Image courtesy of MarijaRadovic /	iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images) Artist painting on an easel (Image courtesy of MarijaRadovic / iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images)

Volunteers needed to 'Spark Joy!' in CK

The Thames Art Gallery (TAG) in Chatham is putting out a call for volunteers who can help lead some art-related activities in the community.

"All that is needed is an interest in art," said Gallery Coordinator Irene MacCreadie, adding that TAG is looking for about 10 volunteers for the Spark Joy! project.

Organizers are specifically looking for people in the community aged 55+.

"We are so excited to draw on the expertise of art therapist Krista Schneider and ceramicist Andrea Vuletin," MacCreadie said. "Krista Schneider will assist the volunteers to create accessible tours for all learners with tips on accessibility and along with Andrea Vuletin, master ceramicist (who is also an amazing illustrator) will share their wealth of art-making experience."

Spark Joy! volunteers can expect to learn how to develop and create art activities for a range of audiences, join group sessions to socialize, and research and develop gallery tours that enhance TAG visitors' experiences.

MacCreadie said the gallery is hopeful that those volunteers will stay on to help with the second part of the project, which involves creating art videos and art kits for CK Day Programs.

"TAG has developed programs that run for 1.5 hours," she explained. "These art classes teach acrylic painting, watercolours, printmaking and clay hand-building and can be adapted for different audiences. The Spark Joy! volunteers can expect to learn the steps in each medium and using their new skills can create lessons and lead an online class activity, or support it."

Preparations for the online art series begin in November, with the project set to launch in January 2025.

Once the program is ready to go, registered participants will be able to get their art kit at the gallery, or if transportation is an issue the kits can be delivered to the participants' door.

MacCreadie said she hopes that eventually the program can be expanded further. "[We] would love to be able to go into our area schools," she stated.

Support for this community-based project has been funded through the federal government's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Those interested in volunteering can find more information here, and are invited to attend a welcome event at the gallery on Wednesday, June 19 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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