Faculty and staff show their creative side at ArtWorks
The Hopkins Center
Anyone who ventured to the Top of the Hop on Wednesday afternoon was greeted by one of the following sounds: electric kalimba and shruti box, classical clarinet, vocals, soft rock or guitar. A few may have even overheard a storytelling session for kids. These performances were all a part of this year’s ArtWorks in Alumni Hall, an annual faculty and staff art show open to the public and free for all.
Faculty and staff chose different media for their work including photography and painting, but also brightly decorated pong paddles, fabric collages, a hand-blown glass pumpkin, woven pine needle baskets and even 3-D poetry — complete with sets of 3-D glasses to enhance viewing. I was pleasantly surprised to read that an impressive woodblock print of crows was created by a physics professor and that the Hop’s night security guar, Bob Oxman, produced the “Smuttynose Comic Books” on display.
Oxman, in a video interview, applauded Dartmouth for hosting an event that “highlights the talents that might otherwise be unseen and unappreciated, since most of us do this either as a hobby, a passion, or a second job.” Indeed, ArtWorks reveals an added dimension to our already quite talented and accomplished faculty and staff.
James Burger, Community Manager for the Office of Human Resources, launched this event in 2006. He and his colleagues begin preparation each spring, when the planning committee meets to sketch out the details of the event. Submissions are accepted beginning in August. Burger reviews each piece before entry and asks that no visual art be repeated over the years. He emphasizes that it is not a juried show. Roughly 50 people show work each year, so more than 600 works have been shown over the festival’s six-year lifespan. The show is a wonderful outlet for faculty and staff to display their previously concealed creative side to coworkers, Burger said.
Burger would like to transform the event into a campus-wide affair that extends for longer than one day, he said. Interest and participation in the show has steadily increased, Burger said, and this year two Australian couples on a leaf peeping tour even stopped by to admire the talent of Dartmouth’s faculty and staff.
The participants “share the community of creativity,” he said. “That to me is very fulfilling.”