Work and the ordinary people who perform it have been the subject of many great moments in art history: Works Progress Administration posters, social realism, "Office Space."

Work and the ordinary people who perform it have been the subject of many great moments in art history: Works Progress Administration posters, social realism, "Office Space."

Another example: Historian Studs Terkel's 1974 book "Working." The concept was simple - he recorded everyday Americans' stories about their jobs - but the book became a best-selling sensation.

It shone a candid light on our complex relationship with work, the dynamics of which are still present today. We love work because it makes us feel proud, productive and independent. We hate work because it takes up so much of our time. We need work to survive.

The subject is explored in Mark Thomas' exhibition at Lindsay Gallery. The local, self-taught artist's textured paintings study people who are working, showing moments from Downtown's impersonal foot traffic rush-hour or a factory's lonely third shift change.