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Library staff member recognized for artwork

When many at Penn State College of Medicine were sent home from their places of work at the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine, many found themselves watching a lot more TV, getting into home improvement and gardening or starting sewing and baking projects.

Seamus Carmichael, who works at Harrell Health Sciences Library’s Service Desk, and who produces most of the library’s print and digital signage, found more time for his art.

Carmichael, who has a bachelor of fine arts degree and was a British Arts Council Rome Prize winner in the 1980s, turned to drawing during his lockdown. His floral subject matter arrived at a steady pace as April rolled into June, and by the time spring ended he had more than 20 pencil drawings. The response to the drawings from Facebook friends encouraged him to turn many of them into paintings.

As a fine artist who also works in graphic design, Carmichael turned to digital media to experiment visually and to expand his skills in this area.

One of the first pieces produced this way, a painting of bleeding hearts, was featured on Penn State Viral Imaginations, a showcase for writing, pictures and performances by Penn State faculty, staff, students and alumni. During this time, Carmichael also found out that his digital painting, “Follow Me Up To Carlow,” won the Staff, Family Member and Community Award from 2020’s Wild Onions publication.

His work from the past few months and from earlier artistic projects can be seen at his portfolio site.

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