Commentary: Volunteering at the Museum

Barrick volunteer Stacey Downey-Sterrett offers a view from inside

photograph and drawing by Stacey Downey-Sterrett

Volunteering at the Barrick is something that feels circular to me. While I was a student here, and the Barrick was primarily a natural history museum, I was part of an art history class that installed an Irish art show. It was a tremendous experience, being a part of something that was about art but bigger… it was about community and space and respect. After that, I would often find myself wandering around the Barrick and it’s garden, a place of calm during those hectic undergrad days. Eventually I graduated, obtaining my degree in art and moved on and away. But the Barrick was like an old friend I couldn’t forget, sitting quietly in the back of my mind and waiting until the right time to reintroduce itself.

I recently returned to Las Vegas and was looking for reminders of the things I loved about living here. But also, I was looking for a community and a place to devote time and be a part of something important and valuable. I took a leap and asked about volunteering at the Barrick, and by some beautiful serendipity I find myself working on condition reports; drawing and photographing objects, artifacts and fine art in the collection room, putting to use the skills I learned on this campus. It’s all come back… full circle.

photograph and drawing by Stacey Downey-Sterrett

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