Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Bieksha

Posted on 26 April 2023
This month we have asked Melissa Bieksha to contribute to our Volunteer Spotlight series where we are asking volunteers to share their experience with us.

Thank you to our fabulous volunteers for their amazing work.

Hi Melissa! Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been volunteering with Castlefield Gallery?

I’m Melissa Bieksha, a current art history student at the University of Manchester in my second year. I’m from New Jersey, USA and moved to Manchester to go to uni here. I love art exhibitions, painting, drawing, and reading. I started volunteering at Castlefield Gallery at the beginning of my second year and have been doing so for 7 months.

What made you want to volunteer here?

For the past few years I’ve been incredibly drawn to the art world and its workings. I had a strong desire to work or volunteer in an art gallery to bear witness to its daily workings. I found out about Castlefield Gallery through my university and it looked like an amazing opportunity to explore my passion further. Castelfield Gallery looked like a great place because it is an intimate gallery space full of explorative, intriguing exhibitions. I really appreciated the display of artworks from local Manchester artists and it seemed a welcoming place to volunteer!

What’s your favourite thing about volunteering at Castlefield Gallery

The best part of volunteering so far has been the opportunities I have received to work art talks and exhibition opening nights. The exhibition openings have been a lot of fun getting to see the new works presented and a community coming together to appreciate them. The opportunity to meet and talk to the artists and curators at the exhibition openings is very exciting as well! Hearing more about the artworks from the artists at the exhibition and talks was so interesting and informative.

What would you say to someone who’s thinking of volunteering with Castlefield Gallery?
I would tell them that Castlefield Gallery is a welcoming place full of friendly staff and volunteers. It’s a great chance to meet like-minded people who share your passion for art and you get to witness really cool events. It’s also really easy to pick up shifts because you get to decide how much you want to volunteer.