Senior Mechanical Engineer, Burns & McDonnell
Why did your company get involved with the Art@Work program?
I had messed around with writing haikus for a number of years, and when I saw that there would be a haiku contest in conjunction with the visual art show, I just had to enter.
In which arts disciplines are you involved?
Visual arts and literary.
Tell us about your talents and how you are using them through Art@ Work.
As an engineer, I do a fair amount of technical writing, so writing skills are important to my career. Also, I am often called upon to proofread and provide feedback on technical writing done by my colleagues.
Was there something from your childhood or your past that linked you to the arts?
As a kid, the only artistic thing I did was sing in the school choir.
How has Art@Work changed the corporate culture at your company?
In a traditional office setting, it’s not uncommon for people who work with each other on a daily basis to have no idea the kind of artistic talents and interests their co-workers have. I think Art@Work has given our employees the opportunity to display many of their talents that many of their coworkers were unaware they possessed, and in turn, all employees have a greater understanding of the wide variety of talents and interests we have all around us in our company.
How has Art@Work changed your perspective of your employer and colleagues?
Engineers often get stereotyped as being very rigid and bland, but seeing the artwork so many of my colleagues have produced for the art show has certainly put that myth to bed for me. The imagination and ingenuity on display each year at the Burns & McDonnell art show really drives home how well rounded and talented our employees are.
In these challenging times and with challenging budgets, do the arts still have a place in the business community?
All businesses can benefit from innovation and creativity, which are the skills developed by involvement in the arts.
What is one of your favorite memories of Art@Work?
Winning the first ever Burns & McDonnell haiku contest!
Why do you think other employees should get involved with Art@Work?
Art@Work is truly the “intramurals of art.” All interests and ability levels are welcomed and appreciated. Sharing your interests and skills with your colleagues, and also learning of their interests and skills, enhances those relationships and strengthens the workplace community.