Unhomed: Without – Lacking – Displaced is an exhibit curated by Marianna Pegno (Associate Curator of Education at the Tucson Museum of Art and Curator of this exhibit), which features artworks by Rogers State University students from their Art for Social Change curriculum taught by Anh-Thuy Nguyen and David Blakely.
Ideas of home are varied and broadly defined by physical space, nationality, and security. These concepts are foundational to what it means to be homeless or unhomed, and are often paired with language such as without, lacking, or displaced, in order to qualify homelessness.
The works in this exhibition were developed during a class taught at Rogers State University, entitled Art for Social Change. The purpose of the course was for art students to merge social justice issues relevant to their community with their art making practice. Through this course, we have shifted the isolated practice of art making from the studio setting and inserted it within the shelter and soup kitchen, in order to take a closer look at homelessness.
The course was bookended by the question: what is homelessness?
There has been a fundamental shift in perspectives. At first, assumptions reiterated stereotypes of homelessness and homeless people, including: homeless people were crazy, lazy, or straight up defiant; lacked permanent shelter; couldn’t afford a home; were looked down upon, had no place to go or stay and lived out of a car or couch surfed; and lastly, had no access to food. After the semester, definitions broadened to include a state of loneliness, a lacking of security, just a general lack, to be without comfort, and the critique that homelessness is a stereotype.
Collectively, we now urge you to (re)consider your definition of homelessness.
Instructors: Anh-Thuy Nguyen, David Blakely
Curator: Marianna Pegno