The largest union in the country for building services workers, 32BJ, has become a labor for love and appreciation. According to nytimes.com, the union has recently expanded a program in which any of its members may display created works of art in their headquarters building located in New York City.
The program began eight years ago and many doormen, building supers, janitors, and window washers have had the opportunity to show their art work on the walls of 32BJ’s national headquarters building. The show this season will display over 200 pieces and will go on display over two floors as well as in conference rooms at the West 18th Street facility.
The artwork portrays life seen through the eyes of ordinary hard working people who often times have come to America from another country. The paintings and photographs reflect their feelings and insights and come from a perspective that is totally different from any other. One painter, a Wall Street janitor for over thirty years, has over 200 paintings in his small apartment. He began to paint as an alternative to just working and waiting. He wanted the opportunity to feel again, he recalls.
Many of these artists see their building work as a way to pay the bills. All harbor the dream of getting discovered and to dedicate the remainder of their lives to art. All are extremely grateful to the union for providing them with an opportunity to display their visions. For most, their jobs provide the time to expand their craft and to nurture their dreams of immortality.