Payette recently hosted an art exhibition of Payette People’s personal work in the Wilson Practice Room. Architecture is naturally a highly creative profession, and while we are all well aware of our coworkers’ talents as designers, architecture is certainly not the extent of Payette People’s artistry.
Hosted by Women in Design and myself, the exhibit displayed an all-encompassing miscellany of artists, media and techniques. We saw work from many positions within Payette, ranging from interns to principals. All manner of media was submitted including watercolor paintings, origami, photography, acrylic paintings, rice paper scrolls, quilting, wooden and ceramic dinnerware and concrete planters.
Christine Eichhorn explains the process of creating her powder print, Fête Galant.
Organizing the exhibit provided me the opportunity to meet and talk to a broad range of people in the office beyond my project team, especially during my initial quest for artists with available work. Everyone was very receptive to my inquiries, so I enlisted the help of the Fabrication Team to build the display partitions that were needed to accommodate all the submissions.
Photo: Parke MacDowell
Sandrine Heroux, Dorsa Naimi and I building the partitions.
The Thirsty Thursday gallery opening was an excellent opportunity to ask the artists about their work and discover the previously unknown artistic prowess of others in the firm. They discussed the origin, significance and process behind each piece of art. The gathering also enabled conversations between artists about shared media, experiences, interests and inspirations.
The left panel shows Kevin Sullivan’s sketches of European cities. On the right panel, starting clockwise from the top left, is the origami work of Ching Hua Ho, non-silver photographs by Andrea Love, and a silkscreen print of an axonometric design by Jessica Jorge.
Shreeya Shakya’s acrylic paintings of various cats.
Bob Schaeffner’s ink drawings of various maritime scenes.
Ching Hua Ho’s origami work.
Creating a temporary space to display and discuss each other’s creative passions felt like a necessity not only for the sake of fostering post-pandemic connectivity, but also to see and celebrate individuals’ accomplishments. Similar to the importance of retaining the human scale when designing larger buildings, the individual scale is important in larger offices to create personal connections and enhance the firm’s culture. I hope the exhibition allowed all the artists to feel proud and excited to share their work on a platform seen and admired by the entire firm. Their artwork is beautiful, and it was a pleasure seeing such creativity on display.
Thank you to everyone who submitted their work, the Fabrication Team for helping set up the space, the Marketing Team for the excellent photos, and the Women in Design co-chairs, Shreeya Shakya and Jessica Jorge, for their time and enthusiasm dedicated to making this such a successful event.