Christine Patten is the Library Services Manager at the Jean Rhein Central Branch Library. Christine, who does a fantastic job coordinating the Seminole County National Arts Program® Exhibit, is our featured coordinator for the month of October. Her dedication to her community is evident and she has made this show a wonderful success. This year alone participation went up over forty percent from the previous year! When asked to comment on the Program here is what Christine had to say…
Q. What makes the National Arts Program® different than any other art exhibit put on in Seminole County?
A. The National Arts Program® art exhibit is the only art exhibit that the Seminole County Government presents. The art exhibit is open to the employees of Seminole County Government, Seminole County Public School employees, the employees of the local municipal governments and our families. It is a unique opportunity to showcase our talented artists.
Q. Why do you feel that displaying employee artwork is important?
A. One of the most delightful aspects of the art exhibit is that people of all ages and abilities can participate. It encourages employees and their families to create art and to share their talents.
Q. How have employees and their families responded to the opportunity to display their artwork?
A. There has been a great response from employees and families in Seminole County. We saw a large increase in participation this year. The Art Contest Team worked hard to spread the word. We encouraged our coworkers with talented children to enter their art too. We were delighted to see the response this year.
Q. Why do you think displaying artwork in the government setting is so important?
A. I think that displaying local artwork in a government building is a wonderful way to highlight local talent and encourage artistic expression. It brings everyone together and creates a feeling of community.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of the National Arts Program®?
A. In Seminole County, the National Arts Program® exhibit is really a team event! One of my favorite parts is working with our talented and dedicated Art Contest Team. The team includes County employees from various departments who love art and are enthusiastic about sharing it with others. We are all so pleased when we hear the great comments from employees and their families at the reception. We love watching as groups move through the exhibit and discuss the art with their family, friends, and coworkers.
Q. Do visitors to the County Services Building respond to the employee exhibit?
A. During the month of the art exhibit, the walls of the Seminole County Services Building come to life. Visitors see the artwork hanging in the main hallways and stop in front of pieces they really like. It is fun to watch when they are surprised by an artwork and come to a dead stop to take it in.
Q. How has utilizing online registration made the process easier for you?
A. The online process is easy to use and makes the registration process simple for people throughout the County. It has been easy to share the information with our team members.
Q. Can you tell us how art has had a positive impact on your personal life?
A. As an amateur, creating art has been a way to look at the world through new eyes. The personal impact for me is that is has been an opportunity for self-expression.
Q. How did you get started in the art field or have you always been involved in the arts? Are you an artist yourself?
A. Starting with art classes that I took in college, I have tried out many mediums. I am fascinated with watercolors, so that is my medium of choice right now. I really enjoy the process of creating art. Most of my experience with art has been in working with children in public library programs. I always encouraged them to make their own art and not to be limited by what other people expect. I have tried to apply that same philosophy to myself.
Q. Is there anything else you want to add? Comments about the program, etc.
A. It has been a pleasure to work with the fantastic staff of the National Arts Program. They’re so helpful and encouraging; they really deserve a Best in Show award!
Seminole County NAP Committee: (from left to right) Lorraine Hajeski, Erin Maciejewski, Christine Patten Judy Russell, Kathy Furey-Tran, Gayle Ricci