Art at work: Employees show off talent, skill in annual exhibition

November 15, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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For as long as Jennifer Baldwin can remember, art has been a part of her life.

“I would sit down as a toddler and draw cartoons in a book,” said Jennifer, a security officer at Michigan Medicine. “Since then, I’ve taken up painting, sketching, photography — if it’s art, I’ve probably done it.”

Jennifer’s previous job was as a makeup artist, where she got to use her creative talents on a daily basis. But in her new role — she began at Michigan Medicine in 2016 — Jennifer also has an outlet for her passion: the annual Gifts of Art Employee Art Exhibition.

This year, 79 Michigan Medicine faculty, staff, students, volunteers and family members submitted works for the exhibition. This showcase is on display from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily through Dec. 10 on the first floor of Taubman Center.

Jennifer was one of 35 Michigan Medicine community members who submitted work for the first time.

“My parents have worked as nurses here for 25 years, so I’ve seen the exhibition before,” Jennifer said. “Every year it gets better and better, so I was excited and honored to finally be a part of it.”

In the end, Jennifer was much more than just “a part of” the exhibition. Her sketch, Untitled I, won both the Best in Category (Works on Paper) award and the People’s Choice Award, as voted on by visitors to the gallery.

“It’s unique and exciting for our organization to recognize employees for their talents outside of work,” Jennifer said. “People are used to getting kudos from a manager or supervisor, but to get honored by colleagues and visitors for something you do in your free time, that’s a really cool feeling.”

Jennifer said her work — and the work of her colleagues — make a difference to patients and families, as well: “We have so many amazingly talented people hidden amongst our staff. The fact that our artwork can make the hospital more welcoming and the exhibition can serve as an escape for people having a tough day, that’s remarkable to think about.”

Here is a full list of this year’s winners and check out the photo gallery above for their artistic creations:

  • Painting: Grandmother Has Parkinson’s Disease by Malak El-Shafei, daughter of Fawzi El-Shafei, interpreter services
    • Honorable Mention: Back Porch by Karen Boehl, sister of Catherine Enochs, pediatric pulmonary
  • Works on paper: Untitled I by Jennifer Baldwin, security services
    • Honorable mention: The Runaway by Andrew Elsten, West Ann Arbor Specialty Clinic
  • Watercolor: Painting, Salt by Richard Jewell, nephew of Elizabeth Jewell, anesthesiology
    • Honorable mention: Orchid by Theresa Nester, internal medicine
  • Collage and mixed media: Autumn Tree by Catherine Enochs, pediatric pulmonary
    • Honorable mention: Constellating by Elizabeth Walker, pathology
  • Black and white photography: Zoey’s Joy by Sandra Becker, pharmacy innovations and partnerships
    • Honorable mention: Mistletoe by Ryan Liu, otolaryngology
  • Color photography: Butterfly up Close by Lynda Mitgutsch, Medical Short Stay Unit
    • Honorable mention: Dragonfly by Julie Hoopes Agbabian, ambulatory care
  • Fiber arts: Wibaux by Shari Pettit, mother of Jenny Fossum, internal medicine/hematology oncology
    • Honorable mention: Stranger Things — Eleven by Kate Lebowsky, Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • Jewelry: New Beginnings by Debra Omans, critical care medicine unit
    • Honorable mention: Repousse Organ Jewelry Set or Heartless, the Important Systems of the Body as Described by a Non-Cardiac Nurse by Baron L.J. Robertson, son of Kelly Robertson, transplant center
  • Ceramics and glasswork: Twisted Vase by Husnu Kaplan, Health Information Technology & Services
    • Honorable mention: Kinder Whale by Emma Jacobs, daughter of Teresa Jacobs, neurosurgery
  • Sculpture and assemblage: Tin Man by Lisa Singer, UH inpatient psychiatry
    • Honorable mention: Graduation Rocket by Dean Mueller, Department of Surgery, Division of Anatomical Sciences
  • Wild card: Metamorphosis by Emmalynne Pytlowany, adult otolaryngology
    • Honorable mention: Elephant Dreams by Lynn Hubrecht, 12 West – Mott
  • Best in Show: Waiting for the Past by Parisa Ghaderi and Ebrahim Soltani, Volunteer Services
  • People’s Choice: Untitled I by Jennifer Baldwin, Security Services