Saturday, March 10, 2012

Homefront Art Exhibit

It belatedly occurs to me that just as I do the occasional book review in my Field and Fen blog, I could do an art exhibit review in here, duh on me for not doing that before. Because I do get out and about, it's not all about The Great Me In The Studio!

Today was a trip to the next town over, at the new West Windsor art center, great use of an old firehouse, where there's a current exhibit by people who make art under the aegis of the art activities of Homefront, a wonderful organization, founded a couple of decades ago by Connie Mercer, who simply decided that homelessness was not acceptable in Mercer County, where affluence reigns for the lucky folks, and set about putting help into action.

Information sheets at the exhibit detailing Homefront's purposes.

Flyer telling more.

Not enough space here to detail all her efforts and successes, but for more on Homefront, you can always go here

I have a special fondness for the art side of Homefront, since many years ago I was recruited by them to be one of a cadre of artists to teach their kids, once a month per artist. The youngsters were collected by a social worker in their bus, and they drove to Princeton Arts Council, then a funky old building, now a very posh affair, for an hour of art followed by a meal cooked and brought in by volunteers, before going home again with the output of their art afternoon.

The group could range from five to teenage, no knowing ahead of time, since their lives were so chaotic, and I had to figure out what could work for any number, up to about 20 max if I remember rightly, bring in all the materials we needed, and teach a skill or a project, with the eager help of teen volunteers. I was blown away by the talent I was seeing, and the wonderfu generosity of the kids to each other,sharing, asking, taking care of their sibs (this was why we had very young ones, if they had to come along with older sibs, fine by me). I got at least as much out of it as the young artists did.

I used to wonder what became of them, and partly wondering if any of them were in this exhibit (I don't think so) I went along to support the concept. And once again was blown away by the force and energy and power of color in the exhibit.

I chose some of my favorites to show you. I did not credit the artists by name because they are in difficult places in their lives, doing art as a therapeutic outlet, and I was fearful that exposure here might impact on their job seeking or home finding, since some have multiple obstacles to cope with. But I did want to honor them here. This may be more cautious than I need to be, but it's their identity, and I think I must protect it.


Minimiss said...

Such inspiring artwork from young people.

Boud said...

These are adults, though. I meant that I wondered if any of the kids I taught all those years ago, now definitely adults, were in the show. Homefront helps people of all ages, and in this group were people from teens to old age. Actually that was inspiring, too!