Why volunteer in the arts?

1. To make a difference: By giving your time to enable others to enjoy, participate in and appreciate the arts, you can really make a difference in your community. Engagement in arts activities is proven to bring a wide range of benefits to participants, such as learning new skills, increased confidence, opportunities to socialise and meet others, as well as an increased sense of achievement and well-being. Arts can also help to build a stronger sense of identity, heritage and togetherness within communities.

2. Professional development: If you are seeking to start or further develop your career in the arts, volunteering is a great way to get ahead. Volunteering offers an opportunity to gain skills and knowledge in areas that you are interested in and to see the reality of what is involved in your chosen field. It also enables you to make contacts and gain visibility within the arts sector. Finally it will look fantastic on your CV, helping you to make a great first impression with potential employers.


3. To gain a new perspective: Volunteers are able to gain a unique ‘backstage’ view of artistic processes. Seeing what goes on behind the scenes can offer a completely new or enhanced experience of an art form that interests you.

4. To follow your interest: When you match your interests to your volunteer work, you are likely to have a lot more fun and gain greater fulfilment. For arts enthusiasts, volunteering is a great way to build on existing skills and knowledge and perhaps to gain some fresh inspiration.

5. To try something new: If you want to dive in and try something new, there is no better way than to volunteer. Perhaps you want to try speaking in public, teaching or learning a new art form? If you enter your volunteering role with an open mind, there is no limit to what you might learn.

6. For your own well-being: Volunteering offers many benefits in terms of personal development and individual health and well-being. As well as gaining new skills and knowledge, you will meet new friends and gain a deep sense of personal satisfaction.


Tourism50: Art Outreach Talks and Tours

In celebration of Tourism50, Art Outreach is conducting a series of FREE exploratory talks and tours  which highlight the best of Singaporean art and culture.

The Art Outreach talks traces Singapore’s history as told through the eyes of our early artists from Georgette Chen and Liu Kang to the pioneers of the woodcut medium. It is through their tireless effort and unceasing dedication that has enabled Singapore to have a thriving art’s culture.

GC-X3E Image

Singapore Woodblock Prints of the 1950s and 1960s
Sat 26 April, 2.30PM – 4.00PM

Woodblock printing as an artform gained prominence in the Post War period of Singapore’s history. The images depicted what was seen in the streets and beyond, from large events such as disasters and accidents, to daily routine and traditional customs. The stark simplicity of the images made them accessible to audience and was relatively cheap to produce.

This talk will explore the work of five prominent Singaporean artists who used woodblock techniques to reflect on history, change and the reality of the times during the 1950s and 1960s.


The Life and Art of Georgette Chen
Sat 17 May, 2.30PM – 4.00PM

Georgette Chen is regarded as one of the pioneer artist of Singaporean art history and was part of the Nanyang Movement. Her paintings combine western techniques with Asian themes and alludes a pleasing sense of harmony through its use of colour and composition.

This talk traces the life and work of Chen and highlights stylistic distinctions between different periods Chen’s artistic career, from her early beginnings as an artist in Paris, through to her time spent in China and Hong Kong before finally settling down in Singapore.

Artist and Model 1954

Liu Kang: A Life and Legacy in Art
Sat 05 July, 2.30PM – 4.00PM

As one of the founders of the Nanyang movement, Liu Kang played a key role in the development of Singapore’s first celebrated and locally conceived artist style. His large body of artworks express a unique Southeast Asian identity and are distinctive through its use of bright colours and bold outlines.

This talk will explore the life and work of this prolific Singaporean artist, from his early beginnings through to the creation of some of his most well-known paintings.

For more information about upcoming events, or to register for tickets, please visit: Art Outreach Eventbrite


Why I Volunteer: Interview with Jocelyn Koh


Jocelyn Koh is a parent volunteer at CHIJ Katong Primary School and regularly teaches Art Outreach lessons at the school. At a recent volunteer training session we asked her what she enjoyed about taking part in the Art Outreach School Programme.

What attracted you to volunteer with Art Outreach? 

The programme allows me to learn about various portfolios and gain knowledge about the arts, not just for my own keeping but through Art Outreach I am able to impart what I’ve learnt to the students in CHIJ Katong Primary.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable aspect of volunteering?

The most enjoyable aspect is giving my time and knowing that I can impart my knowledge to another person and see them enjoy themselves while learning. This brings a sense of satisfaction to me as a volunteer teacher.

What do you enjoy most about Art Outreach training?

The way Art Outreach training is conducted allows me to ask many questions about aspects of the arts that I do not know. For me, I go into every training session like a sponge and try to absorb as much as I can. Art Outreach provides a new perspective, a different way of learning about the arts.

What do you enjoy most about teaching the students at CHIJ Katong Primary?

They are a very teachable bunch of students. I like that in the arts there is no right or wrong answer, you can always take an answer from them and turn it into a question. Seeing the children’s eyes wide open when they are learning something new and interesting, that gives me a sense of satisfaction and it’s really fun too.

8 Qualities that make a great volunteer

1. Energy: Great volunteers hit the ground running. They are fantastic people to work with as they exude energy and approach all tasks with enthusiasm and drive. Their positive spirit is motivating and inspiring to others, leaving a lasting impression on the people and communities that they work with.

2. Passion: Just like energy, passion is infectious. When individuals use their talents and passions they can bring life into even the most mundane of tasks. Those that make the greatest impact in their volunteer work are those that are truly passionate about their cause and have the ability to share that passion with others.


3. Flexibility: Volunteering can involve a broad range of tasks, so a willingness to get stuck in and adapt to what needs doing is an important quality. Volunteers stand out when they can approach their work with an open mind and a willingness to learn.

4. Creativity: People that are creative and have good imaginations are great to be around. Within the arts world in particular, creativity is a very important quality. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a formal training or an academic background in the arts, what it does mean is having bucket loads of passion for all things creative.

5. Team Player: Volunteering inevitably means being able to work with others, whether volunteers, staff or beneficiaries. Being an approachable, friendly and cooperative person is vital. Skills required to be a good team player include patience, listening skills, knowing when to contribute and when to hold back and compassion.

6: Integrity: As a volunteer you are being trusted with an organisation’s resources, facilities and customers/beneficiaries. This is a big responsibility and integrity is expected!

7. Reliability: The first rule of volunteering is that if you promise to do something, do it! It is vital that an organisation can trust you when you make a commitment. Turning up late or not completing a task that you have agreed to does not just reflect badly on you, but can impact on the organisation’s reputation too. Great volunteers maintain a high level of professionalism in all aspects of their work.

8. Commitment: To be able to make a lasting difference it is necessary to be thoroughly committed to the cause. Volunteering with an organisation on a regular basis and over a longer period of time is the best way to maximise your skills and knowledge and therefore make the maximum impact in your work.

TKPS MBS training 03.07.13

Art Outreach: Inspiring Creativity at Swiss Cottage Secondary School

The Art Outreach School Programme is a free art appreciation programme which is designed to wrap around the academic curriculum and expose students to the world of art. From well known masters, to equally legitimate works by more obscure artists, the Art Outreach Programme focuses on making students comfortable with talking about art in its various aspects: art history, art aesthetics, art criticism and movements.

Students at Swiss Cottage Secondary regularly participate in the Art Outreach Programme and use the exciting content delivered as part of Art Outreach’s sessions to inspire a range of hands on creative art projects within their regular art lessons.


“Art Outreach not only enriches the class with Art Talk, students get connected with current social situations through the artworks.” Erman Abu Baker, Art Teacher, Swiss Cottage Secondary School


Pictured above are some of the fabulous artworks that were produced by students last year in response to Art Outreach’s ‘Evolution of Portraiture’ art appreciation sessions.

The ‘Evolution of Portraiture’ introduces the concept of portraiture and its evolution across time. The concept begins in 1508, with Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Its stylistic progression is then illustrated through the works of artists such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro.


You can see in the student’s works that many have been inspired by the bright colours and abstract compositions of artists such as Picasso.

We are very excited to see what wonderful artworks the students will produce following their Art Outreach classes this spring.

Quick Guide: Public Speaking

As a volunteer you can learn all sorts of new skills that can support your future career development, or satisfy a personal curiosity and desire to learn.

Whether in the classroom or as part of an art tour, a skill that all Art Outreach volunteers are required to master is to be able to speak confidently in public.


Here is our quick guide to the art of public speaking:

1) Connect with your audience

Your number one goal for any public speaking opportunity is to connect with your audience. Regardless of how well you address the topic at hand, if people don’t get it, it won’t resonate. This connection comes from your own passion for the subject, if you are engaged and enthusiastic about what you are talking about this will translate to your audience.

2) Handling nerves 

The writer Mark Twain said “There are only two types of speakers in the world: 1) the nervous and 2) liars.” Many very experienced speakers and other professional performers still get nervous. Being nervous is part and parcel of presenting and public speaking. The most important tip to overcome nerves is to realise that the audience is on your side! They’ve made the effort to come and listen and they are all rooting for you! Of course, taking the time for preparation and having a solid understanding of your material is also vital to combat nerves!

3) Slow down

If you are nervous the temptation is always to speed towards the finish point. Talking too fast and without clarity is an easy way to loose your audience’s attention and comprehension especially if your presentation includes statistics, difficult words and complex ideas. Don’t be afraid of silence. It’s OK to pause and give an audience time to digest after important points, this is a chance for you to collect your thoughts too.

4) Be energetic!

Vary the pitch, tone and speed of your voice. Move around the room and gesture to highlight important points. Remember that talking in public requires you to put in much more energy than normal conversation!

 5) Finishing with flare

At the end of your presentation reiterate your major points. Did you tell them what you said you would? Give a big smile and leave slowly as if you are entering (not as if you are escaping).


Gong Xi Fa Cai

To celebrate the New Year we would like to share with you some of the wonderful artworks that can be found at Chinatown and Outram Park MRT Stations on the North East Line.



These works by Tan Swie Hian can be found at Chinatown MRT and are titled ‘Phoenix’s-Eye Domain’, telling the story of early Chinese immigrants in Singapore. The colourful wall mural shows the phoenix flying to Singapore, soaring over the waterfront. An accompanying poem which describes the early development of Singapore, can be found on the station platform. Original ink on rice paper calligraphy was scanned and reproduced on granite slabs, here you can literally walk on art.


This striking Chinese Opera Mask by Wang Lu Sheng is based on the theme of ‘Memories’ and can be found at Outram MRT station. It reminds commuters of the early Chinese immigrants that settled in the Outram area.

For more information about Art Outreach’s Art in Transit tour programme, click here

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!

Images courtesy of Land Transport Authority

Volunteer at Affordable Art Fair this May

Affordable Art Fair Singapore has some exciting news! In addition to their annual fair in November, they are pleased to announce the opening of a 2nd Affordable Art Fair in Singapore from 23 – 25 May 2014 at the F1 Pit Building. The May Edition follows the Affordable Art Fair’s simple, yet unique concept: an inspiring and friendly atmosphere in which you can find thousands of original paintings, prints, sculpture and photography all under one roof. The Affordable Art Fair remains, as the concept suggests, affordable, enjoyable and for 2014, twice the fun! For more information, please visit: http://www.affordableartfair.com/singapore


Fair Assistant Programme – on site during Fair days from 20 to 25 May 2014

The Affordable Art Fair Singapore, Fair Assistant Programme is an opportunity for people from different walks of life to share their skills and talent, and in the process, experience and learn more about contemporary art. Fair Assistants are an important part of the Affordable Art Fair Singapore. They contribute to the effective execution of the Fair, as well as promoting awareness of art in everyone’s lives. Applications are open to students from age 17 who are currently undergoing pre-tertiary or tertiary level education in Singapore, preferably in arts related subjects, as well as individuals who are above tertiary education levels, who have a strong and deep interest in the arts and/or large scale public events. For more information visit the Fair Assistant Webpage: http://affordableartfair.com/singapore/contact-2/fair-assistants-internship-programme/


Why be an Affordable Art Fair Intern/ Fair Assistant:

– Gain practical knowledge and experience in contemporary art practices and learn how a successful fair of its kind in Asia operates

– Gain deeper understanding of the operational and business aspects of the Fair – Beneficial towards your curriculum in the education of the Arts

– Being the first to know all about the Affordable Art Fair Singapore and what goes into the production of the Fair

– To share skills and talents, and at the same time learn new ones

– Meet new people who share a common interest such as artists, professionals, local and international visitors, other members of the arts community and other Fair Assistants who also participant in the programme

– Have fun while pursuing an interest and an important project that makes art accessible to everyone in an exciting and upbeat environment

To apply:

– Download the application form from Affordable Art Fair’s website under the ‘Contact’ tab.

– Prepare your Resume/CV

– Send both to Vanessa Leung at vanessa@affordableartfair.com or call +65 6220 5682 for more information