Friendly sculpture wins 2013 employee art show

By Lin Lofley

Susan Fredrickson and sculpture
Susan Fredrickson happily poses with her Best of Show Award entry, a sculpture called "Best Friends."

Susan Fredrickson has been an employee at UT Southwestern Medical Center for nearly five years and a sculptor since she was 4 years old.

Ms. Fredrickson, Health Education Coordinator in the Transplant Services Center, recently won the Best of Show award in the 2013 On My Own Time (OMOT) art show for her Mixed Media entry, a sculpture called "Best Friends," which depicts her 89-year-old mother, a toy rat terrier named Beau, and her mom's "best human friend," Dorothy.

"Best Friends" was displayed at NorthPark Center, along with artwork from across North Texas, in the annual showing of contest winners sponsored by the Business Council for the Arts.

Other winners included Gary Quinn, Manager in the Office of Inventory Control, who won the first Sustainability Award for "E. Scrapman," a figure made from spare computer parts, and Rachita Navara, a third-year medical student who won the People's Choice award – determined by on-campus voting – for her painting "Somewhere and Everywhere."

"I had no idea that 'Best Friends' might win, but I'm thrilled," said Ms. Fredrickson, whose first artistic endeavors were sculpted bars of soap that she made for neighbors when she was a child. "I have been a member of the Texas Sculpture Association, but I haven't entered competitions for a while.

"I'm thinking now of entering the dolls, which are really sculpted, to see what the association thinks."

She won an OMOT prize two years ago for a self-portrait and won again this year for her work that centers on family. "My mother, Mary, and her friend Dorothy, who's 99, have breakfast together every morning at the independent living community where they live."

Gary Quinn and artwork
Gary Quinn's "E. Scrapman" won the first Sustainability Award in the 2013 On My Own Time art show.

The Sustainability category, a pilot program that drew 13 entries, called for works made from reclaimed or recyclable materials.

"E. Scrapman," a figure on a cork tray, gets its head from a central processing unit fan, its facial features from diodes, and its feet from clipped USB cords.

Mr. Quinn's job in inventory control gives him some access to the raw materials from surplus computers that are on their way to being recycled by UT Southwestern-approved R2 (responsible recycling) contractors.

In addition to the top honors, judges awarded 27 ribbons in nine other categories.

Employees of the South Campus Library took home six awards, and most of the competitors attended the awards reception. When one of the few who didn't was named a winner, a colleague explained: "Somebody had to stay in the Library to run the place."

"I knew we had some contenders," said Laurie Thompson, Assistant Vice President for Library Services, and herself a winner in the amateur class in the Textiles & Fiber Art category. "They're all talented, so it didn't surprise me."

Ms. Thompson has won three OMOT prizes in her 10 years at the medical center. She credited the presence of the Library's "art colony" to weekly brown bag lunches where employees gather to eat, work on their projects, and get feedback.

The other winners from the Library were Anne Hollingworth, 1st place, professional, Works on Paper; Barb Nunn, 1st place, professional, Color Photography; Jane Scott, 1st place, professional, Mixed Media; Joseph Tan, 1st place, professional, Black & White Photography; and Martha Buckbee, Enhanced Photo & Computer Art.