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January 29, 2014

NPS staff show talent in employee art show

NORMAN — Teachers, faculty, administration staff and more are putting down their planners, laptops and lesson plans and are picking up paint brushes.

Norman Public Schools let its staff get creative with the “Off-the-clock” Employee Art Show, which opened Tuesday evening at the Nancy O’Brian Center for Performing Arts.

Brad Benson, director of fine arts, said it was the second year for the show and that it was an off-shoot of a Chamber of Commerce art show that had been hosted for many years. “Off-the-clock” is specifically for NPS employees and their spouses.

With about 60 pieces of artwork, the show features a plethora of art mediums including color and black and white photography, digital art, sculpture, fiber art, drawing and painting.

“The show encourages creativity and can help all of us do our jobs better,” Benson said.

Cindy Norlin, fine arts project coordinator, said every department, from transportation to teachers, would be represented.

Christy Fisher, data processing manager, said she had entered several knit items into the show under the fiber art category.

“It’s so interesting to see what people come up with,” Fisher said. “It’s really intriguing that someone you know in one context is so talented in something else that you had no idea about.”

Jake Mazanares, retired music therapist and bus driver, said he participated in the art show because he loves being creative. Mazanares has color photos, black and white photos and mixed media artwork in the exhibit.

Mazanares said he takes photos of everything from sports to animals and nature and that he likes to use black and white photography for his more dramatic photos. For his mixed media artwork, he takes photos and superimposes them on clay before baking the whole piece.

“We have very talented employees here,” he said.

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