City of Hillsboro Employee Art Show
City of Hillsboro employees are showing off their artistic skills.
The Hillsboro Cultural Arts Division is holding its first "Employee Art Show" through the end of December. The exhibit features multiple mediums, including 3D work, painting and photography.
"My favorite part of this art show is discovering someone's private creativity," said Hillsboro Community Arts Program Supervisor Melissa Moore. "When we're at work, we could all see that staff had creative ideas about problem solving, but we don't always get to see the creativity that they are bringing in their personal life."
Once employees learned about the art show, they began submitting work over the following month, Moore said. The show represents 17 staff members from multiple departments, including public works and parks and recreation.
"It lets people know that there are people working for them in the community with wide-ranging interests and skills, and we bring that to our work as well," Moore said.
Dorian Russell, who works in the city manager's office as a public service fellow, is one of the employees featured in the show. Russell's pen and ink drawings showcase a whimsical bug wedding and their insect friends celebrating every bit of the party.
Her drawings may seem from another world, but the city is what inspired her work, she said.
"In June, we became a Bee City USA by city resolution, and we have a variety of new protections for pollinators in the city," she said. "So, I've been doodling bees in my free time and eventually just began drawing these whimsical scenes for fun."
Russell has been drawing her whole life, but this is the first time she's showcasing her art in front of an audience since high school. She gives the city credit for giving her the confidence to push forward.
"I have been painting and drawing pieces for friends for special events and holiday cards and things like that," Russell said. "This is a little bit different. It's like putting it out on display for anyone who wants to see it, and that's a very different emotion."
Russell also realized the show gave her an opportunity to learn about her co-workers as well.
"It was interesting (because) you had extroverts and you had introverts and everything in between participating and it was a nice connection point for conversation with people in other city departments that I might not have interacted with," she said.
As a temporary employee, Russell can't participate in the next employee art show, but hopes the city continues to allow employees to showcase their creativity.
"It helps public employees feel even more proud about the spaces that they occupy and the roles that they serve in," she said. "When you feel proud to be working with your co-workers and proud to be working in the space that you do, it makes you more fulfilled and excited to do the work that you do day-to-day."
To Russell's excitement, the city most likely will put on the show next year, Moore said, because it's important for the public to see city employees as part of the community.
"We're creative individuals as well as being city employees," she added. "It lets people know that there are people working for them in the community with wide-ranging interests and skills, and we bring that to our work as well."
Moore has yet to hear feedback from the public about the art show, but hopes to hear a response once it's presented to the city council.
The Hillsboro "Employee Art Show" will be on display through December in the Hillsboro Civic Center's Shirley Huffman Auditorium, at 150 E. Main St. The show also will be featured on an adjacent gallery wall. It is open to the public from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
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