Dressed in a black vest and matching fedora, artist Jasen Boston looks over his recent drawings and paintings. He is a regular at the gallery and his paintings and drawings adorn the walls. They are relatively popular pieces with patrons, Heavilon says.
“I don’t do this for the money,” says Boston, a resident of the Chattanooga Rescue Mission. “I just want to add beauty in an ugly world. It means a lot to me to be able to come here and paint and to have a place to show my work.”
Boston is one of the few Hart Gallery artists with any art training. He is also a cook and started culinary classes at Virginia College this week. He sees cooking as just another way to create beautiful things that make people happy.
Those that show an aptitude or a serious interest are invited to come to the Hart Gallery on Wednesdays and Thursdays for lunch and a work session. They can earn money for their labor, primarily working on the public art projects such as the bricks, and sell their art, which fills the gallery.
Heavilon also keeps accounts for some of the artists and, for those who don’t want to be paid in cash, she lets them work for such things as bicycles, suitcases or supplies for an apartment, which she purchases for them when they’ve earned enough credit.
The artist keeps 60 percent of all sales and Heavilon takes 10 percent, which she donates to whichever agency or charity the artist chooses. The remaining 30 percent is used to buy more art supplies. Event rentals for the building and donations cover the other expenses."
Ojai Landmark Education Graduate Sets Hearts Afire with Art by the Homeless.
"Bob Ballard is an Ojai, California graduate of the Landmark Forum who has used his participation in Landmark Education's programs to discover and cultivate his commitment to make a difference with homeless people in unique ways, such as by giving them an outlet for artistic expression. Several years ago, he realized that he was uncomfortable around homeless people and wrote a song about it as a means of bridging the divide. Later, while he was taking Landmark's Power and Contribution program, he created Hearts Afire, an organization that would fulfill on his commitment to empower the homeless. Ballard took a film crew across the country to interview the homeless and hear their stories. Now he has moved onto the next phase of the project, which is to allow homeless people to express themselves through art and music. The venture has gained significant press attention. "