These pieces of art were created during art therapy sessions held at several different programs run by Clinical & Support Options, Inc., including a homeless shelter/resource center. Sarah Tanner, director of marketing and development for the organization, submitted the artwork on the artists’ behalf. She also wrote the supporting summaries that speak to the art and the artists behind them.
“Jaleel has been a tenant in our single room occupancy program for several years. He has been in and out of homeless shelters for most of his life. At 58, he is confined to a wheel chair due to multiple sclerosis. He has limited ability with his hands, and his condition is deteriorating quickly. He cannot hold a pencil, but he is still painting. Many of his paintings are done one stroke at a time. Jaleel says he came to the shelter thinking he would die here, but having time and space to paint has given him life. He doesn’t watch television because his painting ‘tells a vision.’ He adds, ‘Painting gives me purpose. If I don’t have a girl, or a house, or a car, I can just paint them. Once I paint them, then I have them in front of me, and I can see them.’”
“This artist, Iris, is a current guest at our homeless shelter, but she also works full-time. ‘I paint fantasy flowers that are in my imagination,’ said Iris. ‘I just think of them and let the paintbrush go. They are based on the flowers from where I come from in Puerto Rico. The women that I painted represent the different cultures of people who are all from Puerto Rico.’”