More than one thousand homeless men and women are on the streets of Allegheny County on any given day, but most of us walk right past them as if they were not even there.
Walk on By: An Exploration of homelessness through the eyes of local artists each using their own medium.
“When I came here I would see homeless people and I was surprised at how other people looked away,” said sculptor Daniel See who had a very different experience with homelessness in his native Singapore. “There is a stigma that I am trying to bridge through my art.”
See asked residents at the Northside Common Ministries Pleasant Valley Shelter to grasp lumps of clay and then used that imprint to create mugs.
“ The molds capture the ghosts of something,” See said. “Invisible is what the homeless are to most people.”
Other artists explore homelessness through video, zines, comics, painting and drawing.
“Art provides an opportunity to bring new people into a dialogue around an issue,” Says Jay Poliziani, Director of Pleasant Valley Men’s Shelter for men experiencing homelessness “In this instance we can look at homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in a way that might help us better understand the problem and our own relationship to it.”
Walk on By opens with a preview party, March 24th, 6 to 9pm at Future Tenant, 819 Penn Ave. The event includes works from Sculptor Daniel See, Videographers Steve Mellon and Mark Janavel, Photographers Renee Rosensteel and Jennifer Safron, painter Denis Bergevin, Youth from the 412 Youth Zone, local cartoonists, actors from Playback theater and more.
The works will remain on display through April 2nd. Additional information can be found at www.ncmin.org under events.
This collaborative project is supported by a variety of local programs which serve the needs of the local homeless community including The Homeless Advisory Board, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Community Human Services, the Homeless Children’s Education Fund and Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The exhibit is made possible from a generous donation from the SPROUT Fund and the Future Tenant Residency Program