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      News

      A Word from Executive Director Kelley Worden

      A Word from Executive Director Kelley Worden

      Each year at this time, while the flurry of the annual show is consuming us all, I sit for a moment and reflect on our year. I contemplate my time with the artists and volunteers in our program. I am constantly reminded why AFTS is such an important piece to our community here in Austin.  In our Open Studio we are all friends, colleagues, artist….…..people.  We share stories of life….the highs and the lows. We are so excited with the creation made in class each week, the education time in nearby galleries/museums and the community that reaches out to our program daily. I am consistently overwhelmed with the generosity!

      We are all taking a deep breath and jumping into these next two weeks before the 24th Annual Show And Sale. Lots of work ahead of us…. pricing, tagging, mounting and most importantly supporting the artist in our program. They are nervous, anxious, excited and scared.  And so are we! We look forward to an amazing show this year and we hope you have made plans to attend and support AFTS but most importantly come and make a difference in your community. 

      Thank you for your continued support!

      Kelley Worden

      Executive Director

      director@artfromthestreets.org

       

      Art From the Streets rely on generous donations of people like YOU! 
      Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. 
      Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio 
      for the homeless and at risk. THANK YOU!
       

      Jeremiah Hurta ­- Pen & Ink

      Jeremiah Hurta ­- Pen & Ink

      Art From The Streets Austin artist jeremiah hurts

      AFTS has helped many different artists get back to doing what they love. Helping others is unlike any feeling I have ever experienced before. I asked my cousin to join me on the first day of spring break to help out at the AFTS studio. He was eager to come along and see firsthand what it's like to help people in need. We arrived early to the studio before any of the volunteers, and I taught him all the things he needed to know for the day. He pointed out Artist Jeremiah Hurta because he was showing the pen and ink bookmarks he had created to everyone in the studio.

      Art From The Streets Austin artist jeremiah hurtsEveryone was in awe at the beautiful work and I began to interview him. He told me, “A friend of mine gave me a bottle of ink.” He has been drawing ever since high school and now has over 30 years of experience. He would take his bottle of ink and drawing pad to the corner of Woodland and 35 and draw. Many of his pieces have been sold there and people still come to that corner and ask for more art. His art is so popular that even professional tattoo artists have ask to use his work. His son has a tattoo of one of his many cross pieces on his chest.

      Jeremiah went through a pretty rough divorce that led him to be on the streets. Once I learned about the divorce, he then began to tell me about his son. A year after the divorce he found out that the child he thought was his turned out not to be. I was in shock and could understand why he was distressed. The divorce caused Jeremiah to suffer from, acute stress disorder and he received some counseling for it but “only after everything was done and out of the woodwork.” When he was homeless, he camped out on the hill by Riverside.

      Jeremiah explained, “you usually had to cross an area that was swampy and would have to go all the way up to the end of the trail and that's where I camped out.” That all happened around 20 years ago, but he is now in a housing facility. He now lives with his “partner and she has her bedroom and I have my bedroom. I'll stay up until one or two in the morning doing nothing but pen and ink drawing and doing my artwork.”

      Art From The Streets Austin artist jeremiah hurts

       

      AFTS gave Jeremiah a place that was safe and quiet to do his work while he was staying at a camp. “This is my studio away from my studio. It’s great!” He has been asked by many different people, “how do you do it?” Not only is he outstanding at his pen and ink art, but he also does water painting and acrylic. When homeless people stand on the corner with signs, “people get tired of seeing those kinds of things because when they see that you have a talent, they love you more and they come back to you and say, ‘what are you drawing today?’ And I say, ‘what do you want me to draw today?’”

      Art From The Streets Austin artist jeremiah hurts

      Jeremiah is dedicated to his art and to the volunteers in his life. Every time I am at the studio, I see that he is talking to everyone about everything. The thing about Jeremiah is that he is full of knowledge and excitement. As he says, “It's the joy really of art and what it can do for you even when you are depressed and down.” 

       

      Art From the Streets rely on generous donations of people like YOU! 
      Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. 
      Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio 
      for the homeless and at risk. THANK YOU!
       

       

      David Schumaker - Seeing Art's True Side

      David Schumaker - Seeing Art's True Side

      Written by: Shelby Nickells

      Photos: Kenny Trice

      A change in perspective can sometimes be all a person requires to get out there and help somebody in need. Art From The Streets is that change in perspective. This organization allows the homeless to find their passions through art and provide a safe environment to create beautiful pieces of art for the whole world to enjoy. Artist David Schumaker stood out the most to me because of his hard work and dedication to his art and his appreciation for the volunteers at AFTS.

      David Schumaker has been with AFTS for over a year, and he has warmed everyone's hearts. The first time I met him was at the December 2015 show after I bought one of his many pieces of art. It was an abstract piece, full of colors, like his bright personality. He asked me if I was willing to feature him in the next issue of the newsletter I would soon be creating.

       

      I conducted an interview with David. He explained to me, “It has changed my perspective to be more compassionate to everybody that I come in contact with but it's become a mantra more than me as far as my mental stability goes.” David has an extraordinary talent that goes far beyond his love for florals and spray paint. He is able to create art of all kinds consisting of his detailed yet abstract paintings of landscapes, insects and flags.

      His love for art has allowed him to project his feelings of anger and grief into something all can understand and love. He lost his mother eleven months before stumbling across AFTS, when he retrieved help from a volunteer named Elizabeth who was concerned about David's wellbeing. She soon began to understand why he was acting depressed and angry and insisted that he create a piece of art to show he felt at the time. He ended up painting three small prints of faith, hope and love. “I know I have a place to come. I have a second home and a second family here, so that's what keeps me on track and it keeps me positive.”

      As I began to dig deeper into David's life story I learned the reasons behind his ending up on the streets. He explained that it was, “My family dynamics, alcohol and drugs.” His first time on the streets was by choice for three years. His last time being on the streets was close to two years. But with the help of VA social workers, he now has a place that is safe for him to stay.

      David was very open and willing to share his story with me. It allowed me to see his perspective on his life. He wanted everyone to know, “just to never give up on your dreams, keep pushing, keep going forward, keep persevering on whatever you like in life, don't ever give up.” 

       

      Art From the Streets rely on generous donations of people like YOU! 
      Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. 
      Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio 
      for the homeless and at risk. THANK YOU!