SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – In collaboration with the Emerson Museum of Art in downtown Syracuse, CNY Arts for the 50th year displayed the “On My Own Time” exhibit. As part of the partnership, CNY Arts annually selects businesses located in the Central New York area whose workers can display paintings, photographs and other works of art at the museum.
For residents like Walter Tapley, who works as security in the museum, it opened up his view about the opportunity the exhibit provides workers to display their creative side in art and how that could impact the local community.
“I wasn’t exposed originally to this type of art,” Tapley said. “When I came here, I was learning about a whole new world.”
Founded in 1974, the exhibit highlights the “unsung artists” who create art and shines a spotlight on employees from the business, nonprofit and educational sectors of the area, according to CNY Arts. The name of the exhibit – On My Own Time – is a tribute to workers in the area who are artistic and creative.
“I think that’s why we have this great community of artists who… they have their nine to five or whatever their schedule is, but they’re so passionate about photography, or painting, or sculpting that they can’t just let that go,” Steffi Chappell, assistant curator at the Everson Museum of Art. “So, you’re kind of seeing the fruits of those labors here.”
Businesses, companies and organizations selected by CNY Arts to provide their workers the opportunity to display their art in the museum include St. Joseph’s Health and the Syracuse City School District. Higher education institutions in the county are also represented in the museum’s exhibit, including artists from Onondaga Community College, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University.
SU remains a long-time contributor of art for the exhibit on an annual basis, with the university selected to participate in contributing to the exhibit in 1982. For the exhibit held this fall, six faculty and staff artists from SU had their work displayed in the “On My Own Time” exhibit.
“We’ve been a partner with CNY Arts for a really long time. To help anyone celebrate that 50th milestone is exciting,” Chappell said. “About five years ago, we celebrated our own 50th milestone, the anniversary of the building we’re standing in today. We’re just excited to help anyone get to any milestone and help them celebrate.”
The art displayed in this year’s exhibit included photographs, sculptures and paintings of different scales and sizes. The diversity of the art created by the artists, Tapley said, demonstrates the importance of understanding the many unique perspectives artists in the county can display.
“The feeling behind it, the different colors are associated with feeling and how the artist created it… it’s good to learn that there are more than one way to look at something,” Tapley said.