by Dierdre Dickerson, Sallie Mayne, Beth McDaniel, and Monika McCurdy

We all love art, and we found ourselves looking for a place to volunteer and connect with like-minded people. As luck would have it, we all decided that the Frist Art Museum was the perfect place for us to achieve both. When we all were assigned to Martin ArtQuest, we knew we had found a special place. What we didn’t know was that we were each going to meet three amazing women who would become an integral part of our lives. Sisters from another mother. Best friends.

Because there are so many volunteers assigned to ArtQuest working different shifts on different days, it is possible to work there and only see other volunteers at our annual party or when passing them in the halls. But as fate would have it, we were scheduled on Mondays—Monika and Dierdre worked the morning shift while Beth and Sallie had the afternoon shift. And during the 15-minute overlap between our shifts, we started talking and getting to know each other and finding we had a lot in common. We discovered that we were all artists—Sallie is an amazing painter, Beth makes unique jewelry, Monika is a docent at Cheekwood, and Dierdre is a potter.

Except for Sallie, we all have birthdays that are quite close together. Although our dinners and outings celebrating our birthdays are great, it’s the thought and care that goes into birthday presents that is exceptional. A few weeks ago, Sallie asked each of us to name a favorite book or hobby. She said she had a project in mind but would give us no information. A few weeks later, we each got a doll she had custom made to look like us.

We started volunteering to help the Frist, but the Frist has given us so much more and the precious gift of friendship.

Beth, Dierdre, Monika, Sallie, and our other volunteers look forward to seeing you in Martin ArtQuest® very soon! In the meantime, please visit our resource page for activity sheets, videos, and other resources for you, your family, and your friends. To learn more about becoming a Frist volunteer, see

Please consider supporting the Frist Art Museum with a donation. Your gift is essential to our mission of serving the community through the arts and art access in particular. We truly appreciate your generosity.