If you've answered "yes" to any or all of the above, then your Museum needs YOU! As a wholly non-profit institution, the Art Museum cannot exist without volunteers. Museum volunteers greet visitors, assist with special events and KidsArt programs and serve as docents at the Museum. They work as many - or as few - hours per week or month as they choose.
Meet Your Museum Volunteers: Thursday’s ‘Dynamic Duo’
If you walk into the Art Museum on a Thursday, you’ll probably be greeted enthusiastically by one of a pair of volunteers Museum Director Patricia Goodwin calls the ‘dynamic duo,’ Patti Guthrie and Linda Jagger. Patti covers the morning hours â€“ from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. â€“ with Linda on the desk from 1:00 until closing. The two generally overlap their shifts by about half an hour to catch each other up on the day’s activities.
“They are both very reliable, and they enjoy talking with the visitors,” says Goodwin, “and since they communicate so well it makes a very smooth transition from morning to afternoon.”
Both women say they “bonded” from their first meeting and enjoy their interaction. But they are decidedly not two of a kind.
Patti is a native of Santa Monica, California, where her various careers included a 12-year stint at MGM Studios, working in departments from casting and talent management to makeup and rubbing elbows with such luminaries as Doris Day and David Niven. Some years later, after moving to Michigan, she lent her talents to a children’s theater, where she ran summer camps for budding thespians. She moved to Myrtle Beach four years ago to be close to her son (an architect who worked on the design of the new airport terminal), his wife and their four children.
Linda hails from upstate New York, near West Point. She relocated to Myrtle Beach three-and-a-half years ago after retiring from a career as an elementary school teacher. And her move to the area came after many years of vacationing here with her parents.
What they do share is an enthusiasm for the Museum and its visitors. Both say they were drawn to volunteer because of the quality of the Museum’s exhibits and the congeniality of its staff.
“Everybody is so hands-on,” says Patti. “They never let the phone ring, everyone just pitches in. It’s a wonderful crew to work with; you can tell they really love their jobs.”
Linda echoes the sentiment. “Everybody who works there is delightful. I’ve always felt very wanted,” she says, adding, “It’s a no-stress place, very calming.”
And although neither claims any special artistic talent, both are longtime fans of museums. Patti recalls a particular affection for the world-renowned J. Paul Getty Museum near Los Angeles; but she is equally fond of the “little gem” overlooking the ocean here in Myrtle Beach.
“The exhibits are just unbelievable,” she says. “Like the Babar exhibit, it was so cleverly done, and the children were so involved with the displays and putting on the costumes. And the Claire Farrell exhibit (A is for Art) is just enchanting; it goes so well with the Ansel Adams (Classic Images) exhibit, even though they’re total opposites.”
Linda also finds the variety of the exhibits appealing. “There are usually three different exhibits here, and there’s always at least one that will appeal to the visitors that come in,” she says. “I’ve often heard someone say, ‘I didn’t care much for this exhibit, but, oh, I really loved that one.’”
Both are also fans of the Museum building itself. While Patti notes that she loves the view of the ocean from the Tea Porch, Linda says she â€“ like many visitors â€“ is intrigued by the history of the Villa and how it was transformed into the Art Museum.
“I think it would be fascinating as a small exhibit, to be able to see the Museum’s history in pictures,” she suggests.
Both volunteers rave about the interesting people they’ve met at the Museum. Along with lots of Canadians, Patti notes that she has met visitors from as far away as England, India and Australia, and that everyone mentions how impressed they are with the quality of the exhibits.
Both have heard from many visitors from out of the area that they learned about the Museum from reading an article in a magazine or from an online travel website.Â At the same time, they are often bewildered by those who live here year-round yet were totally unaware of the Art Museum until they happened to be driving down Ocean Boulevard, noticed the banners and wandered in to see what they were all about.
“To me,” says Linda with a laugh, “that would be like living in New York City and never going to the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty.”
[Note to our readers: Like seeing lots of great art, watching new exhibits come to life, and meeting lots of interesting people â€“ from world-class artists to art lovers from all around the globe? Talk to one of our Museum staff members or volunteers about becoming part of our volunteer family. You’ll be most welcome!]