A group of UCF employees wants to show that there are “hidden artists” among us.
The UCF Library will be displaying a wide range of different artistic pieces from the Hidden Artists, a group of UCF employees who share a deep love of art. Artwork such as stained glass, paintings and photography will be displayed on the Library’s 72-foot art wall and in five glass display cases from Wednesday until Aug. 31.
This will be its fourth time displaying its work since 2008.
Judy Pardo, a Student Development and Enrollment Services employee, got the idea for the group back in 2006 when she was browsing UCF’s website. There was an image of a painting done by Diane Reitz, an employee in the Student Financial Assistance office.
It dawned on Pardo that if she liked to do art on the side, there were other creative UCF employees who did, too.
Pardo’s interest in art spurred in high school, and she has been inspired by past artists such as Michelangelo and Salvador Dali. Pardo’s artistic expressions include sketches, paintings and sidewalk chalk drawings.
Pardo said artists working for UCF find each other through the group, which allows them to have a creative outlet to display their works and become recognized as artists.
“There have been some people in our group who had friends that knew nothing of what they did,” Pardo said.
People come and go from the Hidden Artists, but this event helps bring in new members as well, Pardo said. It’s a safe environment for anyone who has never displayed their work before, and some have gone on to show their work in other exhibits.
“We’ve had some of our artists exhibit at other places, got accepted into juried exhibitions and have gone further,” Pardo said.
Pardo believes the past events were successful and feels the same about the upcoming reception featuring live entertainment this year.
Reitz has been with the group since the beginning and has had her works displayed at all of the Hidden Artists exhibits. She specializes in watercolor pictures and just like Pardo, she has always been an artist. Her family’s involvement in the arts brought out her artistic side. Reitz has also had some of her work displayed at the Orlando Museum of Art.
Reitz said she loves the challenge this exhibit brings to her.
“[Art] is not easy for me. I really have to pay attention to the rules of drawing, and that’s usually why I do a lot of abstract things,” Reitz said. “It’s a great way for me and others to express ourselves and to meet other artists.”
Another artist is Brian Pate, who works in the Registrar’s Office and has been with the group since the beginning. He specializes in photography and digital designs and has had his work exhibited in other galleries. His love of sci-fi got him into art.
“I used to go [to] a lot of science fiction conventions, and the ones that had small art galleries there is what got me inspired,” Pate said.
It was through these events that some of his colleagues learned that he was an artist.
Pardo said that this event promotes community within a community and that anybody who is interested in art will get their chance to get their feet wet.
“Our main goal has always been creativity and giving others the chance to express themselves,” Pardo said.
The group’s works will be on display throughout the entire month of August with its reception taking place on Thursday in the UCF Library, Room 223. All are welcome.