Moonlighting: The Artist in the Office Next Door by Renee Alfuso
By day, Callie Danae Hirsch programs telephones on campus as a communications analyst for NYU's Technology Operations Services. But when work ends she heads home to paint, relieving the day's stress with her iridescent acrylics.
Hirsch (STEINHARDT '96) has been an IT employee at NYU for the last 25 years but has always made time to pursue her passion for art, earning a master's degree in studio and environmental arts and exhibiting her work in numerous international shows. She even won a commission to design a subway station for the MTA Arts for Transit program.
All of Hirsch's paintings are inspired by nature, and her lifelong fascination with sea creatures is reflected on her canvases. "In my art I bring to life the enigmas that exist just below the surface," she explains. "Deep in the fabric of my being is the desire to generate excitement about the world in which we reside."
Hirsch's dream is to someday visit the Great Barrier Reef, using the sales from her paintings to fund the trip. In the meatime, Hirsch says she loves working at NYU - which allows her to be an artist but still pay the bills - and enjoys that her office job is so different from her creative outlet. "I think if I had to work in something like graphic design all day, I wouldn't want to go home and create because I'd just be burnt out, so IT is such a wonderful opposite, " she says.