The Mason Spirit

Art@Work Exhibit Brings Together Art, Science, and Business

By Michelle Nery, B.A. '97

More than 200 people gathered in late June to admire the digital imagery and art created by graduate and undergraduate students and faculty from the School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E) and the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) at the inaugural exhibition of Art@Work. Century Club member Squire, Sanders, and Dempsey hosted the show at the opening of its new office.

Art@Work, a partnership among IT&E, CVPA, and the George Mason University Century Club, lets businesses display artwork that matches their office space and lighting scheme for one year. "We're very excited about Art@Work," says Kathryn McGeehan, past president of the Century Club. "It's truly a win-win partnership activity - enabling the university to share its engineering and artistic expertise with members of the business community while providing wonderful exhibition pieces for participating Century Club members. We look forward to replicating this in other members' offices."

Art@Work was born after Judy Costello Pearson, executive director of the Century Club, saw Thought Pictures, a joint IT&E and CVPA exhibit curated by Art and Visual Technology professors Kirby Malone and Gail Scott White, on display in the Mason Hall Gallery. "It was [Pearson's] energy, enthusiasm, and hard work that led to the creation of the Art@Work program," says Stephen Nash, associate dean of IT&E.

Thought Pictures, the unexpected pairing of the engineering and art divisions, came about as Scott Martin, assistant dean for technology, research, and advancement in CVPA, was developing a concept for an exhibit that would cross the boundaries of art and science and saw several exhibits that Nash had organized on computer-based art.

"The goal was to use powerful images to expose a general audience to our research," says Nash. "None of the works from IT&E were intended as art. Instead, they all were developed in the context of our broad research activities."

Martin appointed Art and Visual Technology professors Tom Ashcraft, Paula Crawford, and David Chung as curators of Art@Work. They reviewed students' works and chose those most suitable for the space and lighting.

"If you stand in the middle of the exhibit, you can't tell the difference between science and art," says Martin. "We have truly crossed the boundaries between the two."

If you are interested in viewing the artwork currently on display at Squire, Sanders, and Dempsey or hosting a similar exhibition, please contact Pearson at or (703) 761-3141.