BERLIN, Vt. -
Bob Thomas loves his job. He's an X-ray technician at the University of Vermont Health Network Central Vermont Medical Center.
"I love contact with people and I like to help people," Thomas said.
Thomas uses comedy to cheer up and comfort patients during difficult times. That's one of the reasons he's one of the "chosen ones." Thomas along with 13 other hospital employees are going to be immortalized in painted portraits. The artist -- another CVMC employee -- DJ Barry.
"It's another thing to make people excited about what they do, who they are -- people that don't always get recognized for their hard work," Barry said.
When he's not working at the hospital, Barry creates stencil art for his business, DJ Barry Art. "It's a lot of photo editing on the computer, then you print them off, trace them, carve them, lay them down and spray. Them," he said.
He makes it sound easy, but it takes a lot of work -- one painting can take 40 hours to complete. Cutting out tiny pieces of wax paper to make the stencil takes the most time -- like the cow scrubs that Thomas loves to wear.
"I don't get sick of it because I'm never confined to an easel and brush in the same position. I'm on the computer, I'm walking to the stencil to cut, I'm upstairs spraying," Barry said.
He's volunteering his time to create portraits for the hospital, but normally he's cutting out and peeling off pop culture references. -- like Lady Gaga, or Darth Vader drinking a Heady Topper. Barry has sold 50 of the Star Wars icon drinking a Vermont brew in just the last month. His paintings start at $50.
"I love the results. I love peeling off the stencil and seeing it is very awesome," Barry said. He'll keep making pop culture paintings but now Barry loves the challenge of creating portraits that are rewarding. "For the first time it made me feel like I'm making a difference with my art and it meant something it had meaning."
Focusing on people who make a difference while making his own with this Made in Vermont art.