Staff members from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study gathered in the Byerly Hall art gallery on June 15 to view something familiar: photographs, acrylic paintings, pencil sketches, and chromogenic color prints decorating the walls.
Deans and development officers mingled with manuscript cataloguers while nibbling pastries. The Latin-flavored stylings of the Di eVano String Quartet brought a taste of spice to the festivities.
This time, though, something was different. The artwork surrounding the chattering crowd wasn’t produced by an institute fellow (like sculptor/photographer Leslie Hewitt, RI ’10, whose show appeared in Byerly in February, or filmmaker Kamal Aljafari, RI ’10, whose movie stills graced the walls in May). Rather, the prints, paintings, ceramics, and architectural models were created by the staff members.
Radcliffe human resources generalist Myra Garza organized the show, along with seven colleagues. “The idea stemmed from various staff members with different ideas but the same objective: to celebrate the artists among us,” she said. She and her team sent out a call for artists in mid-May and then began to plan the show and soiree.
The Radcliffe community’s response was remarkable. Bill Bebout, who has worked in the mailroom for more than 30 years, brought five original paintings — and a mobile made of foam core and music wire. Susan Landry, a Schlesinger Library administrative assistant, contributed several watercolor pieces and three hand-cut block print tablecloths. Debra Smith, a staff assistant in the educational programs department, signed up to read three of her poems.
Among the 19 artists who answered the call was graphic designer and production coordinator Jessica Brilli, whose exhibition of oil paintings “Before 30” appeared in the Holyoke Center in the summer of 2007. “I always knew how talented my Radcliffe colleagues were, and this show absolutely confirms that,” she said. “I feel honored to display my work with them.”
The exhibition continues at 8 Garden St. in Radcliffe Yard through the summer.