Fw: Homelessnsss Art Exhibit to Tour US

H. C. Covington at I CAN America (icanamerica@email.msn.com)
Wed, 2 Jun 1999 12:04:23 -0500

This is really a great work of art on Homelessness - Sonny

---- Original Message -----
From: National Coalition for the Homeless <nch@ari.net>

Homelessness Art Exhibit to Tour US

Images of Homelessness, a 20-oil painting collection by Tammy deGruchy of
New Martinsville, West Virginia, is the largest-ever oil painting exhibit
about homelessness.  Artist Tammy deGruchy chose to do the exhibit for the
National Coalition for the Homeless because of their dedication to educate
the public about homelessness.  Images of Homelessness raises awareness on
homelessness issues and represents who becomes homeless in America.

The faces of deGruchy's subjects stare out from the canvas, their eyes
showing the pain caused by homelessness, and the hopefulness that perhaps
someday they'll find a place of their own.

The exhibit introduces you to the many different faces of homelessness.

>From the two month old homeless baby who you'll want to hold in your arms;
to 10 year old Tiffany who is looking at the world through the bars of one
of Wheeling's many decorative cast iron gates; and there's Linda, a
red-haired woman with a friendly smile that hides scars of domestic abuse;
to Charlie, a disabled veteran who lives in Lafayette Park and is the
closest neighbor to Bill and Hillary; and to Virginia, a 73 year old
grandmother who sleeps on a park bench she fondly calls home and shares her
meager food with the squirrels; and Claudell, a college-educated street
person in Pittsburgh who worries daily more about the well-being of his
many street friends than of himself.

One of the more powerful pieces in the collection is of an African-American
mother and her infant.  According to deGruchy, she met the two when she
visited a domestic violence shelter where they were staying.  Anxiety and
stress is evident in the mother's face, but the child lies against the
mother's chest with a look of peacefulness and contentment.

"The mother was so worried about what she would do, where she would go, and
how she would take care of her baby," deGruchy said.  "But when you look at
the child, she's so content and satisfied, just being with her mother."

deGruchy began the project in 1997.  She and her assistant, Clint Childers
traveled to Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Wheeling (WV) and Washington
(DC) to interview and photograph homeless people, and residents of domestic
violence shelters

"In these paintings, one sees not only the images of people who are
homeless, their faces and body structure, but the cold realities of what a
society creates when the gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' widens
without concern, " says deGruchy.

deGruchy continues, "There is an urgency to change the image of
homelessness.  Many are victimized and many caregivers are ridiculed.  We
feel that the Images of Homelessness art exhibit will allow people to get a
better understanding of who becomes homeless, along with increasing public
awareness on important issues surrounding homelessness."

Tipper Gore wrote deGruchy stating, "The plight of homeless Americans is of
great importance to me.  Your efforts have made an essential contribution
to understanding and ending homelessness.  Images of Homelessness
exemplifies the Administration's approach to breaking the cycle of
homelessness through the continuum of care approach by putting a face on
the issue of homelessness."

The exhibit has already been shown in deGruchy's adopted hometown of New
Martinsville (WV), Wheeling (WV), and at two national homelessness
conferences in Washington, DC.

The exhibit will tour the country with exhibits now being planned for
Louisville, Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Huntington (WV), New York City
and Washington, DC.

In addition to raising awareness, the exhibit serves as a great opportunity
for a fund-raiser  and volunteer recruitment for a local homeless

If you would like to exhibit the paintings in your city or for your
organization, please contact Pneuma Art in New Martinsville, West Virginia.

After the national tour, the entire exhibit will be donated to the National
Coalition for the Homeless.  NCH is currently looking for a permanent home
for the exhibit.

For more information, contact:

Tammy deGruchy
Pneuma Art
306 Main St.
New Martinsville, WV  26155

Michael Stoops
National Coalition for the Homeless
1012 Fourteenth Street, NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005-3405
Phone: 202-737-6444
Fax: 202-737-6445
Email: nch@ari.net
Web: http://nch.ari.net