Sunday, November 11, 2012

Art Space gallery show

Homefront is our Mercer County NJ organization which assists homeless families, helping with job placement, establishing new homes, and generally supporting people through very difficult lives in this expensive part of the world, where it is possible for an adult to work a full 40 hour week and still not earn enough to pay rent on a modest apartment.  Run with professional staff and a cadre of volunteers, one of their programs is Art Space, where people of all ages can make art, to add a dimension of expression to their lives.  Art is also about squaring up to life, making decisions, and developing the stamina to complete even difficult work.  Vital for people whose everyday life is full of challenges.

I was at the art opening at the Plainsboro Library Gallery this afternoon, met with some of the artists, whose work makes a very strong show, and with Ruthann Traylor, who directs the art activities for Homefront, and volunteer artists who work with the Art Space participants.  Many years ago, I used to teach art workshops to Homefront children, and I've followed the organization with interest ever since, watching the good work they do in the fact of serious odds.  Ruthann knows the value of art for everyone, particularly when life is tough.  It's a core, lifesaving, need.

The artists are serious in their approach, one, E., a poet, talked to me about her notebooks filled with poems, all very personal, and perhaps just for her own eyes, but she's also working currently on a novel, which she hopes will eventually see publication. She also paints, but sees herself as more of a writer.  K. a painter creates powerful images, two of which were on view today.
Here's one


Student Andrew Marfitsin volunteered his services to play excellent classical guitar for the opening. 

This is a teen community volunteer, offering performance as part of his community hours for school. His mom is Tatiana Sougakova, a prolific and exciting artist -- you last saw her at the Festival of the Arts, creating the Clothesline installation of paintings.

Left, Donna S., gallery manager who organized and hung the show,  then in the middle Ruthann T,, both engaging the exhibitors in discussion of their work and plans. 
Homefront can use donations from people no matter where they live, who care about all of our population, and can use volunteer efforts from local artists who want to take part in their work.  To see their own website, and get a sense of the scope of their work,  go here:  

The holidays are coming up.  Nice to remember them when you're thinking gifts.  I'm just sayin' 


Jane said...

What a wonderful organisation - we have many excellent charities in the UK that offer the housing/social/medical side of things, but I haven't before now heard of one which includes art and recognises the importance and benefit. A brilliant idea. The exhibition looks marvellous.

margaret said...

art is meant to be a very good outlet for those with troubled lives, like stitching to seee something creative appear it must give a boost to the person doing it, I know my stitching is helping to keep me sane, for how much longer I am not sure!
I used to go into Styal prison for Fine Cell Work a charity that taught inmates to stitch, it was so good for them and they got paid a small amount for what they did which was then sold, very rewarding.

Alex said...

This is both awesome and touching!

Tatiana L.Sougakova said...

Thank you Liz for taking photos and taking time to cover the event.I was very impressed with the level of talent and sincerity of many of those artists.
Thank you for mentioning Andrew and my art.