The recent art auction at the David Zwirner Gallery, designed to raise money for the Friends Seminary Capital Campaign, relied on student volunteers to conduct almost every aspect of the proceedings. My own role, as an avid art historian, was to research one particular lot, locating the works within the overall oeuvre of each artist and supplying as much detail as possible to be included in the description of the works when they were sold. The lot that I was assigned included eight works by parents of current students and alumni at our school. Over the course of several weeks, I spent hours researching the artists in various art catalogs and online databases, putting together an overview of their work and how each of the individual works offered for sale reflected their central themes and techniques. In addition, I attended a detailed training session at the David Zwirner Gallery, where I was guided in how to speak about the works in the gallery context, and how to evaluate prospective buyers and their concerns.
My volunteer work allowed me to bring together two of the great passions in my life. I believe strongly, especially now that I am about to graduate, in the future of our school and the need to offer its unique education to as many students as possible. At the same time, I love encountering contemporary art with which I am unfamiliar, and the project gave me a chance to explore the work of talented artists within the Friends community. The project was a particularly successful fundraiser, and I am proud of my participation.