Since the project was founded in 2010, Connect2Art Project, founded by Sheri Hammonds, has engaged men and women who are homeless, near homeless or in life crisis situations in healing art programs. One of the goals of Connect2Art is to create a series of murals with homeless individuals for exhibition in public spaces.
Three murals have been created and exhibited at Houston’s City Hall in partnership with the Star of Hope's Transitional Living Center and the Men's Development Center. The fourth mural will be a collaborative effort with The Art Project, Houston a project of the Bread of Life. For 11-weeks the artists will meet 2-hours each week to create this masterpiece as a team. A lead artist will work with homeless individuals to design and paint the mural expressing homelessness and its challenges.
The mural program provides a nurturing environment for recipients, helping them to reconnect to their inner creativity and renew their optimism and faith in themselves and their community. Recipients expressed greater self awareness, increased self confidence and a stronger sense of self worth as they engage in small groups of eight to ten individuals to paint together under the skillful and compassionate guidance of their volunteer facilitators.
Here are some of the students’ comments after completion of one of their 8-week programs:
“I enjoy art because it clears my mind and it takes me to another zone. I’m able to express myself with the mind and soul.”
“Art has taught me to express myself and release frustration and anger in a healing way.”
“The art class serves as a coping mechanism to help me deal with stress. It also allows me to get in touch with my inner artist.”
“I am very grateful for the class and I hope many others will benefit from it just as I have.”
The goal of creating these large murals is to increase public awareness about the plight of homeless people by exhibiting their artwork in public spaces.
Homeless students in this program learn important team building skills and the power of collaborating together toward a goal. The process begins with a discussion about what it is that the students would like to express, which leads to sketches and rough drafts of the mural. Under the guidance of a professional mural artist, students are then shown all the steps to complete the mural and make it a meaningful piece of art. Knowing that the mural will be placed in a public space gives students a great sense of purpose and accomplishment.
The estimated date of completion of the mural with Bread of Life is August 30, 2013. The mural will culminate with an installation at Houston City Hall, with members of City Hall staff in attendance at the unveiling.
It is our great pleasure that we bring Houston this meaningful piece of art. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to sharing the art with The City of Houston this fall.
We cannot do this work with the support of people who are choosing to believe with us.
If you are interested in investing in this project with The Art Project, Houston that we may continue to empower our artists partners as the tranistion into a re-imagined life, you can do so by clicking
The Art Project, Houston