Art as social change
Art as social change project is a way for using my talent and passion for art to stimulate discussion and hopefully positive action locally, nationally and even globally.
I chose the continuing issue of homelessness. We have all seen people pan handling for food or money and standing at corners with signs, reading, “will work for food.” The many times I’ve walked or drove by the homeless, I thought, why don’t they just get a job? Or If I had money to give they would just spend it on drugs and alcohol. The times I did have money to spare, it was only because of guilt. You never think you will be the product of homelessness. In 2008, during the height of the recession, many of America’s middle class found how quickly you can become homeless. At this time I was going through a divorce and found out the hard way, what is like to lose your wife, and your dream home. I had to move into a weekly stay hotel just so I didn’t sleep in the car. I thank God for the church, my family, friends and the ability to find a job that gave me enough to rent an apartment. Living in the car and the weekly stay place for those three weeks really changed my outlook on life and compassion for those who are disadvantaged. I thought I was a thoughtful and compassionate person, yet until you lose your family and home, you find out who you truly are as a person. Not being able to control your situation and ask for help is difficult. Depression comes hand in hand with being homeless. With out the means to support yourself can cause you to find negative ways to find money or suppress your frustrations and doubts on getting back on your feet.
Through this experience, I wanted to use my artistic talents to illuminate and combat the issues that face the homeless. I chose to create a 3 - dimensional art piece that can be used to hold donations, yet still be appreciated as a fine art sculpture. The sculpture is a collage house. The collage has pictures of different races, ages, and men and women and also pets to create a tableau of the many faces of homelessness. Also in some areas of the sculpture, the collage is raised, which brings a depth to the piece. Also I used words like foreclosure, recession, divorce, severe weather, to reinforce the concept that we all our affected by homelessness. Lastly I placed mirrors through out the roof of the house so when looking at the house you can see yourself and be apart of the art piece.
To those who would like to help in the cause of stopping homelessness. I created a take – away piece. The take – away piece is a paper template of a small house that when colored, cut out and glued is your own donation box and art piece. Included with the template is a box of crayons. The vision for the take – away paper house donation box as a tool for schools, other community organizations, Boys and Girls Clubs and Boy Scouts and Girl Scout troops to use as a way to promote the cause in fighting homelessness and raising funds for an art gallery/venue.