“The aim of art is to represent
not the outward appearance of things,
but their inward significance.” Aristotle
Unicorn Chick by Eddie Fitch
Thanks to a Boston program that showcases homeless and disabled artists work, these artists work are helping them rebuild their lives. Their art speaks volumes about the artist and their work. Works of art that would normally go unnoticed without the help of a young woman, Liz Powers.
Since she was eighteen, Liz Powers has worked with homeless and disabled individuals in Boston. She began by creating and running art groups in local women’s shelters. While there, Liz was amazed by the talent around her, but noticed that much of the art would end up in the trash can or lost in the shelters’ closets. After observing the same problem at other local art programs, Liz and her brother Spencer created ArtLifting. Since its launch in December 2013, ArtLifting has also helped five formerly unhoused artists gain housing.
Her goal is create a profitable business not only for her organization, but for each and every artist that participates in the program. By selling these artists work, ArtLifting is providing homeless and disabled artists the opportunity to earn their own income. The organization is run just like an upscale art studio. Each artists earns 55% of the profit from each sale.
Why is this program so successful? Because by earning an income instead of a handout, the artists feel empowered and confident. This confidence has a domino effect on every aspect of their lives and helps them pursue dreams that previously seemed unreachable to them.
Liz’s ultimate goal is to give a homeless or disabled artist his or her first break. Because she believes most of these people have never had a break. While art can inspire each of us, Liz Powers and the artists she helps inspire us as well as their uplifting art.
“We must appreciate and
our own inner power.” Noah Galloway
Noah Galloway, Dancing with the Stars Season 20 contestant.
A few years before the tragedy of 911, my son had to write a third grade essay about a hero. He asked me, “what makes a hero and who I thought was a hero?”
I told my young son that real heroes are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Heroes can be found in all walks of life. They are people who work jobs that are not only thankless but can also have jobs that jeopardize their own well-being. I told him that my heroes range from the janitor at his school to soldiers and veterans, policemen, firemen, doctors, nurses, teachers, all the unsung workers and the backbone of America.
On Monday evening on Dancing with the Stars I watched through tears, contestant Noah Galloway, a former United States Army soldier, a model and athlete dance his heart out. He dedicated the dance by saying, “This dance represents a journey of acceptance from the man I was to the man I’ve become.”
You see Noah was injured during the Iraq War, losing his left arm above the elbow and left leg above the knee. Before Noah danced his routine he told us his story. How he put his life back together after he was injured in 2005 during “Operation Iraqi Freedom”.
After years of spiraling downward in his life he awoke one day and looking in the mirror he stopped seeing what was missing and began seeing a reflection of what he still had.
Mr. Galloway is a true inspiration to young and old and represents to me, the true meaning of a real hero.
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high.
Look the world straight in the eye.” Helen Keller
Just Around the Bend on Narcissa Drive in Palos Verdes, California.
Life is but a journey with twists and turns just like a winding road. The future is hard to predict, comparable in many ways to the experience of rounding a corner in a new location and seeing unexpected sights. If an event is just around the bend in the sense of time, it generally means that the wait won’t be long.
Sometimes these bends and turns in life take us in a new direction. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worst. But always in the direction of the unknown. If you’re lucky, these turns in life can make all the difference in one’s life.
Often we are very close to a destination in life, yet we are unable to see it. It’s always good to have a second set of eyes, to help you see the way. A friend will be able to see things much clearer than you. A true friend, will give you words of encouragement such as: “Don’t worry, it’s ‘just around the bend.'”