With our United Arts Workplace Campaign well under way this year, there have been a plethora of creative arts activities taking place in corporate lobbies and cafeterias. One particularly popular choice this summer is drip & splat painting originally developed by Jackson Pollock during the abstract expressionist movement of the mid-twentieth century. Drip & splat painting is a form of abstract art that entails dripping and splatting paint onto a horizontal canvas using wooden sticks or hard brushes to create a layered, energetic piece of “action” painting. It’s a fun, easy way to create a work of art to hang in your home or office, and best of all, anyone can do it.
Last week, the workplace campaign brought this style of art to United Technologies’ Building and Industrial Systems located in Farmington, CT. About thirty UTC employees from five different departments including marketing, lawyers, and engineers came together during their lunch break to take part in a competitive art making activity. The groups spent half an hour dripping and dabbling paint onto their canvases – filling the room with a buzz of energy comprised of strategy, creativity, and laughter.
Adding a competitive edge to the art activity played out very well as it encouraged each group to take on a unique perspective coinciding with the abstract style of drip & splat painting. One team brought their own neon paint, some began mixing colors, and others even stenciled out the company initials “UTC” onto their canvas. After hearing everyone explain their creative process, the Arts Council’s Manager of Granting Programs, Jose Feliciano served as guest judge to choose three prize winners. Engineering received up to five sets of Theaterworks tickets for two, four sets of Talcott Music Festival tickets for two, and the team captain received tickets to the Hartford Stage. IT received two tickets of their choice to either the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hill-Stead Museum, New Britain Museum of Art, or The Mark Twain House. Not every group was able to get a prize, but all five canvases were definitely praise worthy. It is always a pleasant surprise to see how anyone can pick up a stick dipped in paint and create their own artwork resembling the style of renowned Jackson Pollock.
Aside from the art, the activity itself enabled employees to take a break from their busy work days to develop new and existing relationships with their peers. Creating artwork is not the only benefit of bringing art activities into the workplace. It encourages different departments and personalities to engage in conversations about not only themselves but also their community. The UTC employees were doing just that throughout the lunch hour. Employees had the opportunity to work with people within their departments while also interacting with people throughout the company at large.
As the 2015 United Arts Campaign continues into the summer, we hope to raise funds through workplace events while also engaging employees in art activities and building a stronger sense of community throughout the Greater Hartford region. Ready to make an impact? With just one contribution you can help support 150 arts organizations and programs in our region.