Every day, Johnson & Johnson supports its employees through corporate programs and initiatives that care for their health and well-being. On Thursday, August 1, we celebrated the installation of the latest exhibition of the Corporate Art Program, the 19th Annual Employee Art Exhibition, at Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters in New Brunswick. Every year this exhibition gives corporate employees and their immediate families an opportunity to showcase their creativity, ingenuity and artistry. The fine art, photography, craft, and literary pieces on display demonstrate the varied interests and abilities of Johnson & Johnson’s talented employees and families. This art exhibition is one of 13 sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Art Program in 2013 – six in the World Headquarters Gallery and seven in the New Jersey Artists Gallery. The Johnson & Johnson Corporate Art Program aims to educate, engage, and inspire employees and the local community by promoting philanthropy, wellness, and cultural and social awareness through permanent art installations and rotational exhibitions at our World Headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Corporate Art Program highlights current artistic endeavors and features work of living New Jersey artists as well as artists who deal with themes related to science, healthcare, consumerism, and New Jersey culture. Out of all the exhibitions I coordinate, organize, and curate for the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Art Program, the Employee Artwork is one of my favorites. It allows me to connect with my fellow employees and their families while enabling them to reveal their hidden talents to colleagues. As part of the tradition of the Employee Art Exhibition, we ask members of the local arts community and our executive team to jury the show. This year, Donna Gustafson, Curator, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum; Anne McKweon, Master Paper Maker, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University; Holly Means, Vice President, Corporate Equity Strategy & Sponsorship at Johnson & Johnson; and Conrad Person, Director, Corporate Contributions at Johnson & Johnson, had the difficult task of assigning prizes in categories such as Photography, Fine Art, and Craft & Sculpture. While perusing the art hanging on the wall, I recognized the skill, passion, and beauty present in every piece. Let’s just say I was not envious of the decisions our jurors had to make! While I handed out certificates to the winners at the opening reception, a handful of artists were brave enough to stand up in front of their peers and share the inspiration behind their work, allowing everyone in the room to understand and appreciate their art on a new level. Two of our first place winners, Mark Krajnak and Marie Sicari, shared their perspectives with me after the reception:
Mark Krajnak, Manager, Corporate Communications Adult Photography, First Place
“Photography has been a passion of mine for the last 10 years or so, and I’ve been participating in the Employee Art Exhibition since I joined the corporate communications team six years ago. Every year, when the exhibit gets put up, it’s always fantastic to see the works of art that my colleagues here at Johnson & Johnson create. Everyone works very hard doing their “9-to-5” jobs, but it’s great to see their passion and creativity come through in their art.
[caption id="attachment_5457" align="aligncenter" width="287"] Fragile Brilliance[/caption]
My winning photography piece this year is title Fragile Brilliance. It’s a black and white digital photograph, shot in Grand Central Station in New York City – a bit of a voyeuristic look of a woman in white surrounded by dark shades. People have asked me if it’s a “captured moment” but actually, the woman is an actress I was photographing for another project. She was cast as the femme fatale in an off-Broadway play and Grand Central was a setting in the play. She was wearing her character’s signature white dress but it was very hard to get a frame where someone wasn’t walking in front of her. Finally, I got the frame I wanted and knew it would look good in black and white. I was honored to win for this image as I know the judges had a difficult choice. The photography division is always very competitive and this year was certainly no different.”
Marie Sicari, MD, sister of Johnson & Johnson employee Catherine Sicari Adult Fine Art, First Place
“As a first-time participant in the 19th Annual Employee Art Exhibition, I'm thrilled to have been awarded first place in the category of Fine Art by the Corporate Art Program. The digital fine art photography I create explores my personal experience as a pathologist, removed from and unknown to patients, yet very empathic to their conditions.
During my creative process, the pathologic morphology of human disease transforms into fascinating, engaging, and even beautiful visual images. Untitled (Psychedelic) is perhaps my favorite piece. Having it on public display for the first time at Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters means more to me than I have words to describe. I'm grateful to my sister, Catherine Sicari, Senior Counsel with the Piscataway group; and Johnson & Johnson for supporting and honoring the creative talents of their employees and families.”
Each year I am more impressed with the submissions to the Employee Art Exhibition, and the reception is a wonderful way to recognize the hidden talents of our employees and their families. One of the most rewarding parts of my job as Exhibitions Coordinator is getting the opportunity to speak with artists, like Mark and Marie, in front of their work. The exhibition takes on a whole new meaning when you get to understand the artists, their thinking, and their inspiration. The Corporate Art Program is a part of a long history of employee programs at Johnson & Johnson and is a reflection of the values in Our Credo: caring for employees by providing a pleasant workplace; and caring for the community by supporting local artists and nurturing the arts for the cultural health of the community. By giving Johnson & Johnson employees a platform to share their passion and showcase their individuality, the Employee Art Exhibition brings Our Credo to life. List of Winners: Adult Fine Art First Place: Marie Sicari, (Untitled) Psychedelic Honorable Mention: Andy White, Untitled Honorable Mention: Catherine Gowen, Forest Pansy Youth Fine Art First Place: Daniella Levitan, Untitled Honorable Mention: Astrid Vermeulen, Church at Auvers, Replica of Van Gogh Honorable Mention: Brandon Li, Dancing Harmony Adult Photography First Place: Mark Krajnak, Fragile Brilliance Honorable Mention: Helene Titsch, The Big Wheel Honorable Mention: Melody Meade, European Graffiti Non-Employee Photography First Place: Greg Hecht, Fast Food in Vietnam Honorable Mention: Andrew Shatyinski, Waning Sunflowers of the Ukraine Honorable Mention: Jessie Hecht, Thunder Kittens HOOO Craft & Sculpture First Place: Nick Snyder, Exotic Wood Goblet Honorable Mention: Aja Washington, Melchizedek Honorable Mention: Megan Horan, Leaves Necklace Adult Literature: First Place: Judith Lichtendorf Honorable Mention: Deborah Dalziel Youth Literature: First Place: Kara McAndrew
Heather Cammarata-Seale joined Johnson & Johnson as Exhibitions Coordinator for the Corporate Art Program at World Headquarters in New Brunswick in 2011. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Drew University and is currently a fourth year doctoral student at Rutgers University, where her research revolves around the representation of animals in contemporary art, the artistic use of taxidermy, and the cultural implications of this practice. In the past, she served as Programs Manager at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and a Museum Educator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.