Putting a Face to Homelessness in El Paso County

 Acrylic on Board

11" x 14"

Antlers Park

Homelessness is a pervasive and growing problem in El Paso County. We drive past panhandlers at intersections. We walk past people sleeping in parks and camping near trails.  The causes of homelessness are myriad: behavioral and mental health issues, substance abuse, financial crises, and many more.  They are often lumped into a single demographic: "Homeless." 

This project attempts to put a face to a few of those individuals and to literally paint them with their struggles, but using a limited palette to "color" them with the most commonly identified issues they are coping with.

What starts off in their background begins to shade the subject themselves, changing who they are and and how the world sees them. 

My project invites you to envision individuals in struggle in our own community, and to see them differently. My hope is that this project will heighten awareness of our homeless population and to acknowledge what a fine line separates so many from crossing into homelessness themselves.  In the process, I hope that this endeavor will benefit some local organizations that work tirelessly to support the homeless in El Paso County.

I have begun work on a proof of concept on a small scale, and hope to expand this body of work to include up to six very personal pieces that provide the backgrounds of the subjects on a large (30 x 40" or larger) scale using acrylics and oils.

 Acrylic on Board

11" x 14"

Marian House

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears
While we all sup sorrow with the poor
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears
Oh, hard times, come again no more
'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary
Hard times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered all around my cabin door
Oh, hard times, come again no more

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay
There are frail forms fainting at the door
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh, hard times, come again no more
'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary
Hard times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered all around my cabin door
Oh, hard times, come again no more

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