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Metropolitan Museum Employees Show Off Artwork of Their Own

By Carla Zanoni | June 10, 2010 5:27pm

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/ Producer

UPPER EAST SIDE — Artists who work for the Metropolitan Museum of Art got to show some of their own work Wednesday night during the museum's private annual Employee Art Show.

Each year the tables are turned at the majestic museum, and employees who typically spend their day giving tours or protecting the works of the masters get to show off their own work to friends and family.

The show runs through June 23, but it's not open to the public. DNAinfo got a sneak peek inside.

“It’s exciting to show my work here, but it’s also important to support the talent we have here at the Met,” Inwood resident David Ferrando, 64, said while standing in front of his intricately painted canvas.

Ferrando works at the Cloisters in Washington Heights, and has shown his work at the Met’s group shows in the past.

Queens resident Jose Ortega, 47, said he chose to work at the Met in order to be surrounded by art, a sentiment shared by many of the workers. He has worked as a security supervisor there for the past 15 years.

“I’m not just a supervisor, a painter — I’m an orchid box maker,” he said as he stood before a handmade tiled flower box he crafted from Portuguese tiles and brass hinges.

The box was filled with orchids purchased at the flower market on 28th Street in Chelsea and lit by three spotlights from Home Depot.

“Like many fine artists I found it difficult to make a living in New York," he said. "So I decided to combine my work as a security guard and artist to protect the wonderful treasures here the way I want someone to protect my work one day.”