'Get Art: Give Hope'

Austin nonprofit offers homeless artists a voice with annual showcase and sale

A landscape by Stacy
A landscape by Stacy (Courtesy of Art From the Streets)

The stereotyped portrait of a renowned artist often comes in a neat, pristine, and somewhat pretentious package. She might be caught gallivanting around New York, donning a sharp blazer with vestiges of today's work visible on her ink-stained hands. While that image is romantic, it speaks to a level of art that is not only inaccessible by today's standards but also exclusive. Great artists are often hidden in plain view. A masterpiece depends solely on raw talent, but cultivating that creativity can be a hurdle, especially if the artist at hand is sleeping on a sidewalk.

Austin-based nonprofit Art From the Streets offers homeless individuals not only studio space to work on their art but also a supportive artistic community with which to collaborate. Homeless artists who utilize the open studio space or attend art classes are given an annual opportunity to showcase their work. In 2012, Art From the Streets' showcase – its 20th – raised more than $57,000 for artists and was attended by over 850 participants. With such popularity fueling the event, Art From the Streets had to relocate its exhibition from St. David's Episcopal Church, and will kick off the 21st show at its new home, the Austin Convention Center, on Nov. 9 and 10. More than 2,000 works of art will be on display and for sale, with prices starting at $35. The art ranges from acrylic paintings to pencil drawings, with an array of diverse styles and subject matter. All proceeds from sales go directly back to the artist in an attempt to alleviate the causes of homelessness. These sales help provide the artists with clothing, food, transportation, and other basic needs.

The exhibition, titled "Get Art: Give Hope," seeks both to provide the Austin community with a glimpse into the widespread imagination the city's disenfranchised population holds and to empower homeless artists in their creative pursuits. Art From the Streets board member Bill Jeffers says, "I think visitors will be astonished at the beauty and hopefulness and sheer creative energy of the work these homeless and formerly homeless people have created. Seeing what they have created will change your mind about who they are."

A $5 donation is suggested at the door to continue funding for programs and events, and many of the artists will be on-site to discuss pieces with potential buyers. "Get Art: Give Hope" runs Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 9-10, noon-5pm. For more information, visit www.artfromthestreets.com.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Art From the Streets
"ART for All + ALL for Art" at Art for the People Gallery
Truth is one of the rewards of this showing of work by artists who have lived on the streets

Sam Anderson-Ramos, March 31, 2017

At Home at the Easel, If Nowhere Else
At Home at the Easel, If Nowhere Else
A new documentary captures Austin's homeless population finding purpose in art

Josh Rosenblatt, Nov. 7, 2008

More by Caitlin Greenwood
Kevin McNamee-Tweed: The Exit Interview
Kevin McNamee-Tweed: The Exit Interview
As he leaves Austin, the award-winning curator and artist reflects on the city's artists and art community

March 10, 2017

“I saw the world” at Pump Project
“I saw the world” at Pump Project
Imperialism and identity compete in Betelhem Makonnen’s solo show about a 19th century Ethiopian prince

Dec. 23, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

"Get Art: Give Hope", Art From the Streets, Austin Convention Center

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle