Volunteer Programme

The Adam Art Gallery runs a vibrant and essential volunteer programme. It is an opportunity to gain an understanding of how a gallery operates and to develop new and transferable skills, as well as keep up-to-date with current exhibitions and events, meet visiting artists and curators, students and members of the community.

There is a broad range of jobs that volunteers can be involved in; from administrative assistance to front-of-house duties, from assisting with exhibition installation to research, from helping with mail outs and publicity to maintaining the gallery’s archives. Projects will rotate with each exhibition cycle and your time commitment can suit you. The gallery also holds regular informal professional development events for volunteers including exhibition tours and invitations to talks and workshops, which are also a great opportunity to meet fellow volunteers on a more social basis.

If you decide to join the volunteer programme it is best to contribute on a regular basis, to suit your timetable and other commitments. This can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Sessions are usually two hours, though may be extended depending on your availability and the tasks to hand. Arrangements are flexible, but if you are unable to make a date or time, please give us as much notice as possible.

There are many benefits in being a gallery volunteer, to indicate a few:

  • gain skills and experience in gallery management and customer service
  • engage in research and current ideas on visual culture and contemporary art
  • create connections and relationships with the art community
  • enhance your relationship to the University, particularly the Art History department
  • develop your resume
  • be part of a team environment.


Front of House
Being the first point of contact for the gallery and supervising the exhibitions in the gallery space are the most usual roles volunteers play.

This includes:

  • being knowledgeable about the current exhibition and providing information if required
  • invigilating and supervising the gallery spaces to ensure the safety of the works
  • presenting a professional image of the gallery at all times
  • directing queries to relevant staff members
  • reporting to staff any matters which require their attention
  • carrying out tasks as delegated by supervising staff
  • being knowledgeable about emergency procedures
  • helping at openings and functions.

Back of House
There are other ways you can be involved in the Gallery’s activities.

These include:

  • Assisting with exhibition changeovers
  • Filing and administration
  • Preparing copy for labels and other information
  • Assisting with mailouts and promotional activities.

Rights and Responsibilities
As a volunteer at the Adam Art Gallery, you have the right to:

  • relevant information about the Gallery
  • orientation and training
  • ongoing discussion about your role
  • be recognised as a valuable team member
  • be supported and supervised in your role
  • know to whom you are responsible
  • turn first to your supervising staff member for help with difficulties
  • a safe and healthy working environment.

As a volunteer at the Adam Art Gallery, you need to:

  • be able to make a commitment while being aware of the personal and external limitations on that commitment
  • carry out the delegated duties and tasks to the best of your ability
  • be familiar with and follow all safety and security procedures set out in the gallery plan
  • learn about the Gallery and while here represent the interests of the Gallery
  • be reliable, to arrive on time and keep to your agreed work days (Volunteers are expected to give advance notice of 24 hours if unable to attend on scheduled day)
  • respect confidentiality
  • be aware of situations where a conflict of interest may exist and explain this to your supervising staff member
  • be accountable; to accept feedback and evaluation
  • ask for support when you need it
  • give feedback if you are unable to carry out, or are unhappy about, delegated tasks
  • value and support other team members

If you would like to become a volunteer at the Adam Art Gallery, please fill out the Volunteer Application and return to:

Volunteer Application
Adam Art Gallery
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600

Alternatively, you can email adamartgallery@vuw.ac.nz and we will send out the requisite forms.


In 2011 our two weekend staff Robert Kelly and Morgan Ashworth (both of whom were volunteers at the Adam before they became staff) started a blog. Check out what they had to say about the exhibitions on at the Adam at that time:
Open at the Weekend 2011 blog