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Volunteer Award Winner:
Gallery Service Founding Members

Gallery Service - 2006

From L to R- Joe German, Gilda Birmingham, Ralph Hartshorn, Shuk Moy Hartshorn, Kathleen Jolly, Lenore Weiss, Jay Hall, Doris Adler, Lane Moore, Yvonne Martin, Henry Wojcik.

November 2006
Gallery Service Founding Members
Volunteers of the Year
Gallery Service

          How fortunate we are to have our group of volunteers that comprise this year’s recipients of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) Gallery Service Volunteer of the Year Award. While it is usual to honor a single recipient, on our 15th anniversary we have chosen to recognize those charter members who began what is the organization we know today. Our honorees are: Doris Adler, Gilda Birmingham, Joe German, Jay Hall, Ralph Hartshorn, Shuk Moy Hartshorn, Kathleen Jolly, Leslie Lazzerin, Yvonne Martin, Lane Moore, Lenore Weiss, Henry Wojcik.

          The Gallery Service Committee was established in 1991, following a cut in state funding that resulted in a reduction of DIA staff. Volunteers were needed to maintain a presence in the galleries and serve as hosts, greeting and assisting visitors in their assigned areas. When the “call for help” went out, Doris Adler and Leslie Lazzerin, already DIA members, answered. 

          Jay Hall “read an article in the paper that the DIA needed volunteers…”, as did Lenore Weiss. Gilda Birmingham and Yvonne Martin became involved along with their husbands, and Henry Wojcik states, “I joined with my wife.”  Kathleen Jolly remembers, “curators and office personnel were shift captains.” which Leslie Lazzerin recalls as ”…a wonderful opportunity for…conversations with…people with a bounty of knowledge….”

          Hall remembers, “Gloria Parker [Volunteer Manager]…was instrumental in forming and structuring Gallery Service.”  With her guidance, these volunteers took on the tasks involved in creating an organization that, in Wojcik’s words, “protected the art and assisted visitors.”  Adler spoke of having joined the committee that “met for six months to form the rules and regulations” for this organization; Lazzerin served as second vice-chair, first vice-chair and chairman of that early Gallery Service Committee. It took a lot of work by some dedicated people to, as Gilda Birmingham states, “morph into Gallery Services.”

          These individuals have devoted their time and energy to the DIA for a long while, and many are affiliated with other volunteer organizations as well. When queried about what they found the most interesting and rewarding about their work, all answered with their own variations of, “the friends I’ve made, the interesting visitors I’ve met, and the art with which I’m surrounded.” 

          The DIA is fortunate to have had these dedicated people who were willing to share their time and talents to form the nucleus of the Gallery Service Committee.  It has grown, and the museum is grateful to these honorees who continue to actively share themselves with the museum. They each represent outstanding dedication to the Gallery Service mission.

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