Every week for the past four years, Anjuli Russell has volunteered at Tacoma Art Museum, mainly in the Art Studio where she greets visitors with a welcoming smile and plenty of encouragement to explore making art. This year, TAM honored Anjuli as the TAM Volunteer of the Year.
“I was shocked when I found out that I was volunteer of the year. It is great,” said Anjuli.
Four years ago, after her internship with the museum, former TAM staff member Asia Tail approached Anjuli about volunteering for the museum on a regular basis, and she’s been at it ever since.
“She has volunteered for more than 1000 hours at TAM. Anjuli is a dedicated TAM Studio volunteer and goes above and beyond to ensure that TAM Studio is stocked with all the supplies that our visitors need,’ adds Christina Westpheling, Director of Education and Community Engagement. “Anjuli is a warm, engaging presence in TAM Studio and has a special knack for encouraging reluctant artists to try their hands at art-making.”
Her favorite part of volunteering at the museum is interacting with the kids that come in. She enjoys talking and coloring with them. “They ask me what my advice is if their artwork isn’t perfect,” she noted. “I tell them don’t let them judge you. Just put your artwork on the wall and be creative.”
In her spare time, Anjuli is very involved in the community and you can find her rehearsing with Tacoma Refugee Choir, bowling with her team or taking art classes through Metroparks Tacoma. In addition, Anjuli is an artist herself and creates one-of-a-kind pieces using images she finds online and fashions to fit in lockets.
TAM staff, board and visitors are very thankful to have dedicated volunteers like Anjuli!
Interested in volunteering? Check out potential opportunities here!