Art show to feature employees’ creative sides

A welded metal sculpture by artist Bill Gatfield, TD, stood on display in the Fermilab Art Gallery at the 2005 employee art show. Photo: Reidar Hahn

If art doesn’t come to mind when you think of Fermilab employees, a new display at Wilson Hall’s second-floor gallery may get you to think again.

Starting this week, the gallery will feature “Out of the Office: Employee Art Show 2013.” The show runs from March 20 to May 7 and aims to showcase talents that Fermilab employees pursue in addition to working at the lab. A reception will take place March 22 at the gallery from 5 to 7 p.m.

“It’s great that Fermilab supports this creativity outside of the workplace,” said Visual Arts Coordinator Georgia Schwender.

The last employee-only art show occurred over a year ago, Schwender said. The event has been a mainstay since before she started working at the lab more than 10 years ago.

“It’s been a while since the last employee art show, so the artists who are submitting work are really looking forward to it,” Schwender said.

More than 50 employees are showing work in a variety of media. Submissions include paintings, pastels, textiles, stained glass and standing sculptures.

“I don’t see the work until it’s brought in the day of, so I’ll be surprised at the submissions for sure,” Schwender said.

Chris Olsen, particle accelerator operator, will display wet-plate photography, which involves a labor-intensive 19th-century photographic process.

Olsen said he is looking forward to seeing a different side of some of his co-workers.

“There is so much talent at the lab,” he said. “You may work with a person for years and not even realize they pursue art as a hobby.”

Schwender said she is looking forward to putting employees’ talents on display.

“It’s a great morale-booster and everyone’s really proud of their work,” Schwender said. “It’s great being able to bring everyone together under a common ground of art.”

Sarah Khan