Art Show Organized by Students and OSN Brings Homelessness to the Forefront, Inspires Many Thursday, April 21, 2016
Stunning artwork was showcased on campus April 8 at the "Home is Where the Art is" art show, hosted by Point Park's Confluence Psychology Alliance student group and Pittsburgh Mercy's Operation Safety Net®.
Approximately 250 people including students, faculty and the general public attended the event, which featured artwork by more than 20 individuals who have experienced homelessness throughout the Pittsburgh region.
"We were so excited to be able to work with Operation Safety NetÂ® to promote the talent of the artists and bring up the conversation of homelessness in our area," remarked Emily Jamison, junior psychology major and co-chair of Confluence.
According to Robert McInerney, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and founder/advisor of Confluence, this event best reflected the student group's overall mission.
"In the 10 years I've been involved with Confluence, this event best represented the values and commitments we've always been working towards; that is, not to be influential (powerful and penetrating) but confluential, helping to bring people, ideas and actions together to foster empowerment," explained McInerney.
"The artwork was gorgeous, insightful and moving. Thank you so much to Jacqueline Reynolds and to the passionate and hardworking Point Park University students of the Confluence Psychology Alliance," McInerney added.
"The partnership between OSN and Point Park happened really naturally. I was grateful to organize this event with them. As an art therapist, it is important that the groups we work with understand and are respectful of our mission. I definitely found this to be the case with the Confluence students and the University's whole psychology department," remarked Jacqueline Reynolds, M.A., art therapist for Operation Safety Net.
Twenty-three artists displayed their artwork at the show. About half of those artists were present to make sales, and nearly all of them sold their work, explained Reynolds.
"Changes in mood and motivation have been apparent in these artists after the show, and they were all appreciative of the Confluence students present to assist with sales that night. Since the show, it feels like new life has been breathed into the studio space with new people coming by all the time," added Reynolds.
Operation Safety NetÂ® currently holds open art studios at two locations in Pittsburgh - Wellspring Drop-in Center (Uptown) and Trail Lane Apartments (South Side).
After the event, Summerly Kelly, a sophomore psychology major said, "These artists made a really strong impact and I think changed a lot of people's perceptions about what it means to be struggling with homelessness."
"The 'Home Is Where the Art Is' event was amazing and I am so thankful to have been a part of it. The psychology department at Point Park has done an incredible job so far from what I've seen. The professors make it a point to help all of their students reach their goals," said Samantha Crummie, a freshman psychology major.
Sophomore psychology student Maia Gilmour added, "The art show was the most personally rewarding event I have been a part of all year. I wholeheartedly believe that this event changed people's lives."
Watch a segment on WTAE-TV about the event and read the front page story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Point Park to host show of artwork by homeless men and women."
Top photo by Maia Gilmour, sophomore psychology major