Spotlight on Guy Bruggeman, DFW Coordinator

Guy Bruggeman has been coordinating our Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Exhibition since 2007 with continued success. Every year their participation increases and their 2010 show was no exception with 174 pieces of artwork from 109 different participants. 
Recently, we have heard Guy's name mentioned multiple times over the past few months from potential new venues.  Guy has been actively promoting the program across the country with our newest venue, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, adopting the program based solely on Guy's praises. 
 
Guy has such a passion for the National Arts Program® that we thought he would be the perfect first interview for our new Coordinator Spotlight.
 
1. What makes the National Arts Program® different than any other art exhibit displayed in the DFW Airport?
For us, we only have a few exhibits each year. It’s unique in that, it is by the employees and for the employees. As you are looking at someone’s artwork, you can’t help to think that you work with this person. We all have specific jobs at the airport that help make this the best airport it can be, which is what we all have in common but, some of us also have an interest in art as well. The personal touch of knowing that art was created by one of your co-workers makes this a very different exhibit.
 
2. Why do you feel that displaying employee artwork is important?
It really helps reinforce the five DFW Beliefs. This is a collaboration of many departments that all play an important role to make this exhibit successful. It also promotes the belief that “You’re Important”, by showing off the employees unique talents.
 
3. How have employees and their families responded to the opportunity to display their artwork in the airport?
With every year, the process becomes more refined. This allows us to focus on making the exhibit and reception the best it can be. Every year we tweak a few little things to make it more enjoyable. It must be working because every year we get more compliments on the show. Here are a few examples from this year:
 
“First of all I want to thank you for the wonderful program you put together this year. Our family will look forward to many years of participating in the program.”

“Thank you so much for all the effort you put into the Art Show. It was a wonderful event (and not only because Emma won a prize). I can only appreciate the coordination and communication needed to pull this event off. You did a wonderful job."

4. Why do you think displaying artwork is an airport setting is so important?
It helps promote community involvement. Many of the exhibits are done by the surrounding communities and it is a great way to support them. It’s one more way for the airport to give back to the local community.
 
5. What is your favorite aspect of the National Arts Program®?
Besides it promoting visual art, I love the Award and Reception Ceremony. Although I am running around all day making sure everything is set, I do actually get to enjoy visiting with the artists and their families. Many people are amazed that I remember the name of their artwork when they tell me who they are. It’s not a hidden talent that I have but after seeing their artwork so many times, you can’t help but remember. Some of these artists have participated all four years and this is the only time I get to visit with them.
 
6. Your first show in 2007 had 67 participating artists while your 2010 show had 109 participating artists. How have you managed to increase your participation over the years?
We really try to focus on promoting the exhibit. This year, we ran an article in our online newsletter reminding people to take advantage of the snow days to start working on their artwork. This year we had record snowfalls that kept a lot of the non-essential staff at home. Not that I wish we have record snowfalls next year but it was a great way to promote the exhibit.
 
7. Do travelers respond to the exhibit?
Whenever I am over at the Car Rental Facility, where we have the exhibit, I notice many people looking at the artworks. It funny to see the typical business traveler, who has their everyday routine actually put down their cell phone and slow down to view the art. The families that come through spend even more time looking. Next year we are planning on leaving a comments book out for visitors to leave us notes about the exhibit.
 
8. Can you tell us how art has had a positive impact on your personal life?
It really has affected my personal life. I grew up drawing on everything, sometimes on objects that I wasn’t supposed to. Over the past 10 years, I drifted away from art. Seeing my co-workers creating art as well as continuing to go to work and have personal lives made me realize that I can do this too. I’ve recently started taking art classes and going to art museums on a more regular basis. I have also started dragging my sketch pad with me in case the inspiration hits.
 
9. How did you get started in the art field or have you always been involved in the arts? Are you an artist yourself?
As I mentioned earlier, I have always been involved in art. In high school I participated in many extra-curricular art shows including working with my art teacher to create a full-sized plaster mold of me. If you ever get to Davenport North High School it may still be hanging up. In college, I took as many elective art classes that I could cram into my schedule while still completing my bachelor’s degree in mass communications.
 
10. Is there anything else you want to add? Comments about the program, etc.
As I mentioned before, every year that we participate the process becomes smoother. This allows us to focus on the promotional aspect while continuing to make small improvements. I look forward to us hitting a milestone like Abilene did this year with 20 years of participating. Whenever I get the chance to mention this wonderful opportunity to my peers at other airports they are amazed that this type of program exists. And now with the National Arts Program providing scholarships to assist with the reception it is a great way to add another exhibit without a lot of costs.