Faculty and staff show their creative side at ArtWorks

By Emma Moley | 10/6/11 12:44pm



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.”


Emma Moley