Once a year, UCF staff step out from behind the veil of their day jobs to divulge their creativity. The 4th annual Hidden Artist’s reception held on Thursday in the UCF library room 223 acted as the launch to the Hidden Artist’s Exhibition, which runs through Aug. 31 and showcases the underground value of staff artists. The art produced by the represented artists was as varied as their professional job titles.
Works of acrylic, multimedia, graphite, charcoal, photography and watercolor lined the walls, while sculptures and jewelry pieces filled two cases. Present were also works crafted specifically out of objects found in nature.
"I'm seeing some different types of art than I've seen before," Executive Director of Career Services Lynn Hansen noted.
This year’s artists included Dawn M. Herrod, Kathy Hudson, Jacqui D. Johnson, Simona Loh, Linda Milner, Neida Mora-Maus, Russ Muller, Fiona Murphy, Brian Pate, Judy Pardo, Diane Colvin Reitz and Tina Tran. For the 12 represented artists, day jobs ranged from working in the financial aid office to human resources.
Tran, a counselor for the UCF Financial Aid office, has at least four different types of artwork on display, including an acrylic painting with bursts of color, a sleek computer-generated image of a horse and a Giclée print of oil painting.
“I try to explore different mediums,” Tran said. “I think having an art background has helped me think outside the box.”
She’s not the only one. Loh, a legal assistant at UCF, created acrylic paintings on sea grape leaves in addition to her work with graphite, charcoal and watercolor. Johnson, a technical assistant cataloguer at the UCF Library, was another featured artist who contributed bead-weaving, scratchboard art and gourds.
Judy Pardo, founder of the exhibition as well as contributing artist, felt that the exhibition drew staff together.
“It’s a good common place among our emails that we share information about art, call for artists, [and] where people find out about it. It is camaraderie between our group,” Pardo said.
UCF alumni Matthew Dunn, who graduated with an art degree, described the event as an opportunity to appreciate the employees outside of their formal job description, although many of the artists would argue that their creativity has helped them in their jobs at UCF.
Brian Pate, a Hidden Artists veteran and Assistant Director of Information and Publications and Services at the registrar’s office, felt that the reception has only improved over the years.
“I think the breadth of talent has gotten stronger each time, and while we have a core group, other people have rotated in and out and it just seems to get better and better,” Pate said.
UCF senior and classical guitarist Aaron Lingelbach set up shop in the back corner of the room, providing gentle melodies to accompany the soft chatter.
Lingelbach, a guitar performance major, felt the night gave staff the chance to expand from their normal routine.
“It gives them that boost of confidence they need, and she [Pardo] said a few people have gone on to place in some competitions or something crazylike that. I think that’s pretty awesome.”