While Burns & McDonnell had not selected its Union Station and Gem Theater finalists as of press time, this year did have some standouts. Below are a few employee/artists who showed interesting potential. Be sure to be on the lookout for these names, at Union Station, the Gem and beyond.
Visual Art, Photography
As a contractor for Burns & McDonnell for the past six years, Greg Bright was familiar with Art@Work. “I’m one of the guys that used to set up for their art shows. I’d always see all the stuff,” says Bright. who says he’d asked about entering but couldn’t as a contractor. “I think really I got bit by the [photography] bug early in high school. We had our own dark room. I spent hours on hours in there. That’s how I got going. I thought I would stick with it. But I ended up in construction.” Landing on staff this year has led Bright to take advantage of the chance to enter his photography in Art@Work, his first-ever competition; who knows where else that might lead?
Performing Arts, Music
Singer/guitarist Dustin Gill went all out in 2012, his first year of Art@Work, entering all three music categories: solo, group and “TCB”—the company band (with help from Glenn Ernstmann and Ben Asnicar). “A lot of times, I feel like I have to wear two completely different hats, where I can be a musician when I’m not at work, then I have to go to work and be an engineer. I thought it was really neat that Burns embraces the other side of people’s interests,” says Gill, who plays bluegrass with his band, Danger Boogie.
Visual Art, Photography
King of Paris
A first-time Art@Work entrant, photographer Matt Noonan was inspired by the solitude he found at a remote Paris park and the freedom of the pigeon he captured there. “It took us an hour to get from where we were, kind of in the city center, up to that park. It’s just a pain to get around in general in a large city, even if it’s as good as Paris with the Metro.
“I just had this funny thought of, ‘People look at these pigeons like they’re rats with wings, but for the moment, this guy is the king of Paris–he can go from right here to the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre. He can just go from spot to spot, and have these vantage points that no one else can.’ ”
Literary Arts, Fictional Short Story
A marketing coordinator for Burns & McDonnell, Caroline Cooper has always been a writer, on the job and off—she has a published book relating to her outside job as a ministry director. But it’s Art@Work, she says, that keeps her motivated creatively. “Art@Work gives me an excuse to do some creative writing. I’m simply too busy with the other kinds of writing that I do outside of work to do much creative writing except for when I know I have this opportunity,” she says. “I really do love this competition. I’m so busy, but I need that creative outlet. I would love to see more people take this opportunity to explore that creative side.” l
I saw a rainbow
from the sky
in wonder I gazed through blankets
And felt at peace
in the stillness
brilliant colors arced toward a land
I could not see
Love surrounded me
smiled at God’s creative hand
of the promise of grace
— Caroline Cooper