Archive | Art of the Spirit RSS feed for this section

Artist’s Portraits Reveal the Human Faces in Our Midst

I realized that bringing them to life in drawings was quite unique, seeming to have more joy in it than I’d ever experienced before. Walter was delighted. Nate always greets me now with a thankful smile. Donald, the very gentle one, spoke proudly and warmly when pondering his portrait.

Read More Comments Off on Artist’s Portraits Reveal the Human Faces in Our Midst

Oakstop Gallery Is a Showcase for “Black Artists on Art”

Oakstop Gallery is displaying 36 artists from three generations in its exhibition, “Black Artists on Art.” It was inspired by Samella Lewis. an African American historian and artist, and the author of two volumes of Black Artists on Art. Trevor Parham and Samella Lewis’s grandson, Unity Lewis, collaborated on the exhibit.

Read More Comments Off on Oakstop Gallery Is a Showcase for “Black Artists on Art”

How We Find Our Silenced Voices and Learn to Sing

This child who had been silenced went on to become a world-famous poet who won three Grammys and spoke six languages. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. She had an abounding love for everyone. She was asked by the United Nations to write a poem for the world.

Read More Comments Off on How We Find Our Silenced Voices and Learn to Sing

St. Mary’s Center — Community in Action

This special section features stories published in Street Spirit that report on the crucial work of St. Mary’s Center in providing shelter and life-supporting social services to low-income and homeless seniors in Oakland. These exciting stories describe St. Mary’s inspiring work in building a vibrant community and involving seniors in creating beautiful art and organizing […]

Read More Comments Off on St. Mary’s Center — Community in Action

Feeling Broken and Blue: The Life and Art of Paul Nicoloff

Paul “Blue” Nicoloff, dressed in blue, on Telegraph Avenue. Blue was a Berkeley street artist who had survived bouts of homelessness, but then committed suicide in the fall of 1999.

Blue was a gaunt, emaciated, crazed-looking, street person dressed in torn rags. Blue’s sense of humor was the tiny life-raft that he clung to all his life, amidst the raging seas of his stormy soul. Perhaps that’s why his sense of humor was so brilliantly honed: He needed it so badly.
This article first appeared in the October 1999 issue of Street Spirit.

Read More Comments Off on Feeling Broken and Blue: The Life and Art of Paul Nicoloff

Young Artists Take Stance on Prisons

“We cannot truly exercise our freedom until we allow everyone to be free, and most important, free ourselves. ” — Julia Tello

Read More Comments Off on Young Artists Take Stance on Prisons

Beautifully Composed Art with a Social Conscience

“Wet Night On Sutter Street.” A homeless person sleeps in a cardboard box outside an expensive clothing store in San Francisco on a rainy night. Painting by Christine Hanlon, oil on canvas, 20” by 32 1/3”

Christine Hanlon’s beautifully composed images of outcast souls struggling to survive in barren urban landscapes seem to be ripped from today’s news stories about increasing poverty in America. Yet, her deeply felt paintings also are timeless in their portrayal of classic themes explored by great painters through the ages.

Read More Comments Off on Beautifully Composed Art with a Social Conscience

Artists Encounter the Poor in Image and Imagination with the Photography of Dorothea Lange

Today’s artists joined with Dorothea Lange to document the side of American life that is forced to live in the shadows — in the brush under an overpass. The writers in the Encounter with Lange project try to give voice to these images and to see the human faces of the poor.

Read More Comments Off on Artists Encounter the Poor in Image and Imagination with the Photography of Dorothea Lange

Shining New Light on the Desolate Streets of ‘The Other America’ — Dong Lin’s Photographs

A policeman tries to nudge awake a homeless man on the streets of San Francisco, but the man cannot be awakened. Photo by Dong Lin from his book One American Reality.

In one of Dong Lin’s chilling images, a policeman stops to nudge a homeless man lying on a San Francisco sidewalk, only to find he is already dead, just another accident statistic. The faceless fatalities in our midst are almost never seen. They live and die in a faraway place — the Other America.

Read More Comments Off on Shining New Light on the Desolate Streets of ‘The Other America’ — Dong Lin’s Photographs

Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”