RESPONSE – ABILITY
Art For The HOMELESS
“Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins” This Cheyenne proverb exemplifies my journey for the year 2009. The date was June 7th, that I packed up my apartment put everything in storage and began traveling as a nomad from east to west coast while creating beautiful works of art. Throughout this journey I relied solely on friends and family for a place to sleep with the occasional hotel stay. Throughout this journey I experienced many feelings of displacement, uncertainty and loneliness. One day as I was driving and dealing with these emotions I stopped at a traffic light and gazed into the eyes of a homeless man, and my feelings related to what I seen. He was impoverished physically, mentally and spiritually every aspect of him was wretched. I felt his pain, despair. I was attracted to his pain, but wanted to ignore him I was drawn to his loneliness but wanted him to disappear. I just wanted this moment to end I wanted his presence to stop reminding me that I was alone just like him! He needed help and I wanted to RESPOND but not with money, this time if felt something deeper, a connection yes his sign, all I could focus on was his sign and suddenly the Artist in me awakened and I said to myself, him and his sign are one. Just like any other business the sign is the representation of the business, RIGHT? I thought, what would happen if artists created signs for the homeless? Big, bright colorful, energetic signs with empowering words?
My mind started racing with quotes for signs like, “ Look into my eyes then give” “ You and I are One… give to yourself” “ Help me to Help myself” “I am more than what you see” “Please don’t stop loving me”.
As these quotes for signs crossed my mind I began to think about how we as artists could have a huge impact upon the lives of the homeless and society as a whole. A thought of the homeless embodying these insightful words and bright colorful signs was inspiring. Visualizing these signs as having an aesthetic energy that empowered the homeless with a new sense of self-pride and enthusiasm was igniting. The idea of a new dialog springing forth, a new type of engagement between the general public and the homeless is the motivation for this new adventure in art exhibitions titled, RESPONSE-ABILITY ART for the HOMELESS.
My overall Goal for this project is to organize an army of Artist, world- wide to create and sell 144,000 signs for the homeless. The number 144000 is based on the 14th. Baktun, a period of time the Mayan’s see as a significant change upon the earth and the birth of a new cycle. In sync with this cycle of change is Response-Ability Art for the Homeless. The distribution and sales of these elaborately painted signs will take place on the walls of international Art Gallery’s. Each show will be a one night only engagement and each painted sign will sell for the maximum price of $50.00. Here’s where it gets interesting. Each person who purchases a piece of art is encouraged to give this gift of art to a homeless person!
This act of engagement is the fuel and intention behind this entire project. It begins with the homeless and their despair, the artists recognizes their condition and responds with these powerful signs. The Art Gallery’s provide the space to sell these signs. Then its up to us, we the people to purchase these works of art and ultimately offer them as gifts, to the homeless.
The vision is global but we must first start local. The first launching of this exhibition will take place on Saturday, Jan 16th, at Voz Alta Art Gallery, 1754 National Ave, San Diego, CA 92113, www. www.vozaltaproject.org
The overall organization of this show will take place in these stages:
1 The Call to Artists, the organizing and gathering of Artist to participate in this mass art movement.
A. Each contributing artist will be asked to do up to 3 signs for the exhibit. Each sign should be elaborate in color and content. The content should be short, to the point and inspirational.
2 Local and international media support of RESPONSE –ABILITY to propel the momentum and domino effect needed to move this exhibition from city to city throughout the world.