Friday, July 11, 2014

Housing First Fights Against Homelessness: Sketchbook Friday

This drawing was done in collaboration with Kenny Hodgkins. Ken used to be homeless on the streets, and is a great artist if he ever gets a chance to sit down with some art supplies. Not only is Kenny talented himself, but he has a gift for turning the people around him into artists also. Kenny creates hundreds of drawings each year and collaborates with dozens of people in the process. Kenny constantly teaches me new and exciting techniques and helps me achieve great drawings, which I often post on Sketchbook Friday. I often wonder how many great poets, musicians and artists are sleeping on the streets right now without an ability to pursue their passions. In Portland, Maine it seems that often the people living on the streets have more talents than the people I meet anywhere else. In my social work, at a housing first facility, we house cronically homeless individuals first with low barriers (wet campus, rent subsidized, independent apartments) and then address their needs after they are in a safe environment. I will tell you that I have watched some pretty beat up (emotionally and physically) people walk off the street into a stable home and creatively open the floodgates, among other things. Dancing, singing, poetry, writing, sculptures and drawings. Being able to share creative passions with the people around me is one of the greatest joys, and being able to be inspired everyday is the benefit of being around such great people. Kenny just had an art show last month that I helped to set up, it will feature over 150 of his drawings, and showcased his incredibly talented and diverse skills. It is the second annual art show and this show will now be a travelling show and will be featured around Portland, Maine.

Each Friday at noon I scan in one new sketch or drawing from one of my many sketchbooks. You can find information about buying artwork, webcomics, performance art, miniature art hunts and new projects on my fine art website William Hessian dot com. Also like me on Facebook, or as projects right here on my Bearded Bunny art blog. If you enjoy these sketches make sure to also see all of the sketchbook friday posts.

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