Painting the Way Home
The artists were given prompts to help them create the paintings.
One prompt “Dream House” asked artists to think about the following questions.
“What does home mean to you? Think about a home you have had in the past. What would you change, what would you keep the same? Now, create an artwork or poem depicting your dream house of the future.”
A second prompt “Personal Journey Through Homelessness” asked artists to think back to the place in their lives where their homelessness began.
“The journey of becoming homeless starts somewhere,” the prompt began. “Reflect back on what circumstances or relationships caused you to become homeless. Identify what has had the most impact during your journey. What would you change? What would you keep the same?”
Inspired by these questions, the contributors created diverse, innovative pieces, their only limitation being that the art needed to fit on a standard canvas. The artists incorporated mixed media, bringing three-dimensional representations to the canvases. Because many of Miriam’s Kitchen’s artists focus on beading and jewelry-making, a number of the pieces incorporated beads, strings, and wire.
An intimate Friday-evening reception at the Church of the Pilgrims also included spoken word performances, which evolved into a night of poetry, storytelling, and singing. Some of the presentations honored the support that Miriam’s Kitchen has offered to people living through homelessness.
At Miriam’s said one grateful speaker “you’re welcome every time you walk in the door.”
The artwork was created in support of The Way Home campaign, which seeks to end chronic homelessness in the District of Columbia by 2017.
The pieces will remain on display at the Dupont Pilgrims Gallery, which is located at the Church of the Pilgrims, 2201 P Street NW. The gallery, which features rotating exhibits by local artists and provides space for spiritual reflection is open on first Fridays of the month from 6 to 8 p.m., on Sundays from noon until 2 pm and by request.
Right painting by Carl Foley : Carl has been involved with Miriam’s Kitchen, working and participating in the art therapy group, for over seven years. To respond to the “Dream House” prompt, Carl chose to depict his dream art studio, shown above.
Mixed media painting by Dale: Dale’s dream home reflects his past of living a quaint country life, surrounding by fishing, crabbing, chickens, and pigs. His ideal house would be located at Piney Point, MD, surrounded by apple trees.