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Visual Arts

Homeless Artists Respond to Stereotypes

November-December 2010

<i>I See a Brighter Day</i>

I See a Brighter Day

<i>How You See Me</i>

How You See Me

<i>Pulling My Way Out!!!!</i>

Pulling My Way Out!!!!

Ruthann Traylor learned of research on stereotypes by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard Business School, years ago when they were neighbors. (Cuddy was then studying for her doctorate at Princeton.) “I read the section on how the poor and homeless were perceived to 12 poor and homeless women at the shelter,”  says Traylor, who is now the director of ArtSpace, a homeless shelter in West Trenton, New Jersey, run by HomeFront, a nonprofit social service agency. “We spent a year and a half responding to this perception by collecting poems and art work by the people I work with.” In April 2010, an exhibition of this work opened at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs, with a panel discussion two weeks afterward featuring Cuddy and fellow psychologists Susan Fiske and Peter Glick; 200 attended, and the exhibition ran into August.

In the gallery here, see some examples of paintings by these homeless artists, made in response to the research that showed the homeless were generally perceived as both cold and incompetent.

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colorful painting detailing birch trees

Birches Over Pine (1966)

Painting courtesy of the Shelburne Museum

The Magic of Luigi Lucioni

Abstract image of swirls and darts in browns, reds, and grays

Helio-Centric III, 1993

Painting ©Mildred Thompson/Courtesy of the New Britain Museum of American Art

Interpreting the Universe

The lower halves of two women stylishly dressed in bright colored skirts and high heels

Untitled, c.2000

Photograph  ©Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks/Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Photographs and Blackness, Barkley L. Hendricks

You Might Also Like:

colorful painting detailing birch trees

Birches Over Pine (1966)

Painting courtesy of the Shelburne Museum

The Magic of Luigi Lucioni

Abstract image of swirls and darts in browns, reds, and grays

Helio-Centric III, 1993

Painting ©Mildred Thompson/Courtesy of the New Britain Museum of American Art

Interpreting the Universe

The lower halves of two women stylishly dressed in bright colored skirts and high heels

Untitled, c.2000

Photograph  ©Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks/Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Photographs and Blackness, Barkley L. Hendricks