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Cherished volunteers welcomed to the Bas

Saturday 12 January 2019

The shire’s new arts space – the Bas – is shaping up to be so much more than a regional gallery, with visitor experience to be given the highest priority.

So said Eurobodalla Council’s arts development team as they inducted the first group of Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre volunteers on Monday 11 February. Manager of community development Kim Bush told the group that visitors to the purpose-built art space should experience a quality operation.

“Customer service is going to be the thing we hang our hat on,” Ms Bush said.

“That’s what we’ll depend on you for.”

The group of 20 toured the in-progress facility before learning about the requirements of volunteering at the Bas. They also received copies of the volunteer handbook, which was immediately re-christened ‘the bible’.

Council’s creative arts officer Liz McCrystal said she’d previously worked as a volunteer at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.

“I ended up as the public programs coordinator, so hopefully I understand what you guys will need to know,” Ms McCrystal told the volunteers.

“We’ll make sure it’s all in ‘the bible’.”

Many of the inaugural volunteers, like Sue Barford, are already involved in the shire’s arts community. Ms Barford said she’s thrilled the purpose-built centre is almost done.

“It’s the exhibition and event space this community has been waiting decades for, and I’m ecstatic it’s opening soon,” she said.

Council’s general manager Catherine Dale thanked the volunteers, saying the Bas had been years in the making.

“Years in the planning and in the construction,” she said.

“As someone who supports the arts, I am very excited. It’s going to be a fantastic facility for Moruya and for the whole shire.”

Arts coordinator Indi Carmichael told volunteers they were crucial in helping the public experience the personality of the centre.

“Mr Sellers told us last week that by calling it the Bas – not the Eurobodalla Regional Gallery – we’ve freed the space up,” Ms Carmichael said.

“On a Friday evening we might have Jazz at the Bas; enjoy some pizza in a lovely space. We can have music. We can have performances. It’ll be a community hub.”

Ms Carmichael said they knew the centre’s personality from day one.

“If the Bas was a person who would he be? Stylish and elegant, a bit cool and with a great sense of humour,” she said.

“That frees us up to be quirky, cheeky and funny, even a bit naughty at times.”

Volunteer Janette Dadd had some words of advice for people yet to commit to volunteering at the Bas.

“The Bas is about art and I love art. Art is the best thing for people to share and be involved in. Go Bas!”

The Bas grand opening and announcement of the winner of the Basil Sellers Art Prize will take place on Friday 22 February, 6pm – 8pm. The new building is attached to Moruya Library.