Get to know a little about our November volunteer spotlight, Gail Slagle!
I taught school for 18 years, from preschool to college. I was primarily a math teacher at the junior high level.
I love traveling with my husband, Steve, with our camper in tow. Visiting as many national parks as possible is a goal of mine – so far, I have visited 30 of the 60. Steve and I have spent eight summers working and living in six different national parks. Working for the concessionaire allowed us to live (in Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Acadia, Grand Canyon and Grand Teton) and enjoy all they have to offer. Hiking and watching wildlife are my favorite outdoor activities. When I’m indoors, you’ll most likely find me, sewing, quilting, knitting or crocheting.
Favorite artwork or space at the museum?
My favorites are Stanton MacDonald Wright’s Au Café and Karen LaMonte’s Dress Impression with a Wrinkled Cowl. My favorite outdoor space is the Crystal Spring area in the springtime when the ephemerals are blooming.
How did you learn about the museum, and what prompted you to get involved?
When it was announced that Alice Walton was going to build and art museum, I immediately wanted to become involved. Art is not in my background, but I love to learn new things.
In what ways have you been involved as a volunteer with the museum thus far?
Way back in 2006, I started volunteering in a variety of roles while the Crystal Bridges office was located at the Massey. Once the Crystal Bridges trail opened, I helped conduct many trail surveys. I became a Gallery and Trail Guide in 2011, and as the sculpture and architecture programs were developed, I began giving those tours as well. Beyond offering tours I have greeted in the lobby, assisted with culinary events, assisted the call center with museum receptions and many other things.
What keeps you coming back to volunteer?
I enjoy interacting with the guests and sharing this wonderful museum with them, and I’m always learning something new.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?
The positive energy from the guests is wonderful. The Crystal Bridges staff make this a wonderful place to give my time. I always feel valued and appreciated.
What have you learned or how have you been personally affected from your experience with the museum?
Before getting involved with the museum, I didn’t know much about art. Volunteering here has provided so much life-long learning for me. There is always something new to study and share.
Do you have a funny or inspirational story you can briefly tell about your volunteer experience? Please share with us!
When I first gave tours in 2011, most guests were local residents or family and friends visiting them. As the years passed, most guests are from distant places. I am particularly excited when guests on my tours that have traveled all over the world (visiting art museums) are blown away by Crystal Bridges. They can’t wait to get home and tell their friends to come here to visit.
Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Crystal Bridges?
Do it! Come volunteer. You won’t find a better place or experience in volunteering.