Homelessness is a draining existence. Daily life becomes much harder and the future at times can seem very bleak. Art gives Austin homeless residents a way to feel human again. It allows for self-expression and the ability to be seen not as a homeless individual but as a talented artist.
Art From the Streets uses free open studio time to connect with the Austin homeless population and give them time to breathe, relax and work toward a positive goal.
Using art as a means of therapy means the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, coloring, or sculpting to help people express themselves artistically. Today we can only offer painting and drawing as mediums as we are limited by studio space and supplies available.
There are many benefits to providing art studio space for free to homeless Austinites. Besides the fact that it provides a stream of income for the artists. It also provides them a space to explore their emotions, improve their self-esteem, relieve stress and cope with environmental depression.
Based on an artists interest they have paintings they work on, become emotionally invested in and are ultimately proud to accomplish. Having these studio sessions, even if it becomes just a hobby, provides a healthy outlet and safe space for people to work.
We also work to provide education and resources for our artists. We work with them outside of our open studio times to help them grow their sales, confidence and ultimately get off the streets!
As Pablo Picasso said:
"Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Crystal has been coming to AFTS Open Studio for more than 5 years and tries to attend once a week “so that I feel like I’m doing something - life’s not just passing me by. I have something to look forward to.”
“Life can draw you away from your real talent, and AFTS helped me rediscover an old talent. [AFTS] gave me the opportunity to rekindle that talent.”
During these times of lock down, social distancing and increasingly less human connection, we are determined to bring our artists and others experiencing homelessness an opportunity for self-expression and creative relief to combat the increasing risk of depression and isolation.