We often think about the difficulty homeless people have in finding somewhere to sleep. But for homeless artists, like The Contributor vendor Michael G, finding a place to be creative is also a huge challenge.
Michael paints wherever he can – in his car when he’s sleeping there, or in a spare space in a friend’s house when they’ve put him up for a while.
His artwork frequently appears in Nashville street paper The Contributor, including this recent expressive painting.
“The Contributor opens the door to possibilities and connections for art being sold and published and displayed,” says Michael.
“Often it leads to more sales of the paper because my customers know that I have artwork in there, and that helps with buying the occasional art supplies.”
Michael is also a poet and has become known as ‘The Scribe’ to the team at the Contributor and to readers, as his writing also regularly features in the paper.
“I’ve been doing art for a long time. I was a successful artist out west and I came out here wanting to do art, but things fell apart and I went homeless,” he adds.
“My motivation for creating art in The Contributor is to get back into art and get off the streets. I think it’s my best shot because a 9-5 job doesn’t work for me. Artwork has kept me off the streets before, but 9-5 jobs put me on the street. Some people just can’t do it.”
Michael’s pride in seeing his work in the paper is obvious as he poses with The Contributor.
The Contributor’s vendor program assistant, Linda Bailey says that they are lucky to work with a lot of creative people.
“We love publishing our vendor’s artwork, poetry, personal reflections and other creative works in The Contributor,” she adds. “It’s important to empower our vendors to express themselves in the pages of the paper they are selling on the street. We have so many talented vendors and their contributions are some of the most powerful and relatable pieces in the paper.”
Michael encourages everyone who buys the paper to take it, read it and enjoy it.
Michael “The Scribe” G. wants you to take The Contributor each and every time you purchase one.”I’m published almost every week in the paper, and I encourage everyone to please take the paper and read it,” Michael said.
Posted by The Contributor on Wednesday, 24 September 2014