This year marks the 24th Annual National Arts Program® Exhibit for the City of Lubbock, Texas. Lubbock is one of our longest standing shows and Paula Griffith has been their outstanding coordinator through it all. Employed with the city since 1988, Paula knows there can be many obstacles to offering an opportunity such as an employee art show. Paula has said that, “with city budget’s getting tighter, the Program allows the City the chance to encourage employees to share their talent and the ability to reward that talent with generous prizes.”
As Director of the City of Lubbock’s Garden and Arts Center Paula is involved in and endless flow of arts events with varied focuses. The Garden and Arts Center she supervises has truly become a haven for all members of the community looking for a place to explore the artist in themselves. In 2012 Paula dramatically raised participation for their NAP show proving that she is dedicated more than ever to the employees and their families. Her loyalty to her home city and the arts is evident in all she does and we were pleased to have her share her thoughts on the Program…
Q. What makes the National Arts Program® different than any other art exhibit put on by the City of Lubbock?
A. The Lubbock Municipal Garden & Arts Center is proud to host the National Arts Program®, which is offered to City employees and their families. This is one of our largest and most diverse exhibits; it features artists from youth to adult in categories from the novice to the professional.
Q. Why do you feel that displaying employee artwork is important?
A. The National Arts Program® allows employees the opportunity to showcase their artistic talent, which is rewarding for the employee and offers a glimpse of their personality that perhaps hasn’t been seen.
Q. How have employees and their families responded to the opportunity to display their artwork?
A. The employees and their families have responded positively to having the opportunity to exhibit their work. Kathy Rogers, who is an employee with Lubbock’s Electrical Utilities, now has two generations participating in the exhibit.
Q. Why do you think displaying artwork in the government setting is so important?
A. One of our most important missions at the Garden & Arts Center is to help promote and nurture the arts in Lubbock, and this exhibit is a great opportunity to do just that.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of the National Arts Program®?
A. The artwork that is submitted! Seeing everyone’s work is really rewarding.
Q. Do visitors to the building respond to the employee exhibit?
A. They do! We have a number of groups that meet in the room that the exhibit is housed in, and many of the members will spend some time looking at the artwork.
Q. How has utilizing online registration made the process easier for you?
A. It has made registering significantly easier because employees do not have to keep up with forms, they do not have to wait to get forms in the mail, etc. It’s very convenient for everyone!
Q.Can you tell us how art has had a positive impact on your personal life?
A. I have found that art is a very personal expression of oneself. We have children that have started in our pre K art classes and are now enrolled in our adult and teen programs. It has been rewarding to see these children evolve into young artist with remarkable talent.
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. I am not an artist myself but grew up with a very talented mother who painted. I started working at the Garden and Art Center in 1996 and have enjoyed working with artist and developing programs that nurture artistic talents in all ages.