Faculty Staff Art Show

Faculty staff arts show installation

Faculty Staff Art Show

Written by Victor Rogers / Photos by Rob Felt September 14, 2017

Art Exhibit Celebrates Faculty and Staff Talent

It comes as no surprise that Georgia Tech faculty and staff have a wide range of interests and talents that include creating art. To showcase some of that artistry, the Office of the Arts is presenting the first Arts@Tech Faculty and Staff Art Exhibit, Sept. 14 – Oct. 2, at the Ferst Center for the Arts.

The Office of the Arts received 86 entries from active faculty and staff campuswide, and 56 were selected for the show. Now, visitors can vote for their favorite, and the winner will receive the People’s Choice Award.

The idea for a faculty and staff art show stemmed from the popularity of the Clough Art Crawl, an annual student art showcase. 

“As the Office of the Arts, we try to promote and provide opportunities for the entire campus to get involved in the arts," said Blake Buford, marketing specialist with the Office of the Arts.

See some of the works below, and visit the Ferst Center for the full exhibit. 


Bill George art

Bill Georgia, estimator and production planner, OIT Printing & Copying Services: Tangerine Isometric, mixed media and acrylic on canvas, 48x48 inches, 2017.

The piece is one part of a triptych of three planes based on respective isometric views, according to Georgia.

“In this series I’m having fun with the exploded view of isometric views that come in the boxes of model planes that are provided to illustrate how to put it together,” said Georgia, who graduated from the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Art with a BFA in drawing, painting, and print making.

“It was a natural step for me to get into the printing industry,” he said. “There is a common thread between what I do for OIT Printing and Copying Services and my personal time spent drawing and painting, and that is an overriding concern with the image. I spend the day managing print production, which revolves around making the best quality images in print for our customers. Then in my own hours, I’m also concerned with making the most engaging images I can but using a completely different skill set and my imagination. The latter is the ultimate freedom and works because it’s the opposite of the former.”

Howard Wertheimer art
Howard Wertheimer, assistant vice president for Capital Planning and Space Management: Series 720, watercolors.

Wertheimer spent time in Europe as part of his studies to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from Georgia Tech. There he started to graphically document his experiences through photography, sketches, and watercolors. After a long dormancy and before embarking upon a trip to Israel in June 2014, he purchased a new set of watercolors, and he was inspired to sketch and paint again.

His intention in creating the series of watercolors was “to quickly capture the essence and character of some very special environments, celebrating the memory of place.” He titled the work “Series 720,” with the intent that no one watercolor would take more than 720 seconds to create.

“I wanted the sketches to be quick — and the best way to do that was to not labor over the drawing by getting too fussy or too detailed,” said Wertheimer.

Madolyn Penuel art
Madolyn Penuel, executive assistant to the dean, Scheller College of Business: mixed media — photography and paint (pictured on the right).

Penuel primarily works in the medium of photography, but she has started exploring the process of adding hand-painted details to canvas prints. Her piece in the Georgia Tech show combines photographs (the lighthouse and everything it is sitting on, as well as the ship’s exhaust, the sky, and the swirl in the clouds), with digital images of an angel and ship, and painted clouds in front of the floating mountain.

“In this digital age, where we are bombarded with information at every turn, my work gives me the opportunity to convey the stories I want to tell in the space of one image,” Penuel said. “If I can capture the attention of the viewer, hold his or her gaze for just a moment, then I have the chance through my pieces to elicit the emotions or reactions that I want to pull from my audience. In the space of a breath, I can tell the story that needs telling.”

She recently had a piece selected for Photo Buckhead, a juried show sponsored by the Atlanta Photography Group, and she is finalizing plans for her first solo show in November.

Bill Naivar
Bill Naivar, video manager, Office of Information Technology: cutting board made of reclaimed wood from the floor of a basketball arena, 2015.

When Tech’s Alexander Memorial Coliseum was being remodeled into McCamish Pavilion, Bill Naivar collected pieces of the court — that was originally installed in 1983 — for a woodworking project. He removed the staples, planed off the paint and varnish, and glued the individual pieces of the floor together to begin making a cutting board.

Bill Naivar - floorboard

He used pieces of walnut for the outer edge, with alternating pieces of cherry, swamp maple, and African teak (Oroko) for the back side. Then he took the board to Tech’s Invention Studio to have the Georgia Tech seal engraved with a laser on the ‘basketball court’ side.

Naivar gave the finished cutting board to President G.P. “Bud” Peterson and First Lady Val Peterson. They keep it as a conversation piece in their kitchen, but they don’t use it to chop vegetables.

Naivar, who made his first cutting board in the seventh grade as a gift for his mom, recently doubled the size of the small woodworking shed at his home.

“I’m looking ahead to retirement,” Naivar said. “I’ll need something to do!”

Top image: Thomas Ames, operations manager of the Ferst Center for the Arts, installs the pieces of the exhibit, including his own digital drawing which he describes as “an exercise in color, pattern, and texture.”

The exhibit runs through Oct. 2 during regular business hours at the Ferst Center for the Arts Gallery.