Community In Blue
April 8th - May 28th, 2017
Vault Gallery - American Museum of Ceramic Art
Rendered in 231 ceramic bottle forms, Community in Blue was a quantitative diagram that illustrated the 689 homeless people that were documented in the 2016 Homeless Count in Pomona, California. Each piece of this installation symbolized 3 individuals, with 77 textured white and blue vessels representing women, and 154 smooth blue vessels representing men. Together on a yellow field, these colors evoked the official flag of the city of Pomona, CA.
At the time of the count, 1 in 3 homeless people in LA County were women, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. From 2013-2016, Los Angeles County saw a 55% increase in homeless women, making them the fastest-growing group of the homeless population at the time. These women continue to suffer higher rates of traumatic violence, including rape and battery, while sleeping on the streets and in mixed gender shelters. There are ample stories of women keeping themselves awake all night only to be half asleep at work during the day, of women dressing as men, not necessarily because of gender identification, but for the sole purpose of trying to hide the fact that they were women, and of women staying in abusive relationships so that they at least have protection from the attacks of other men.
Proceeds from the sale of each of these ceramic bottles are donated to Inland Valley Hope Partners, a non-profit organization who runs Our House, a shelter in Pomona that supports homeless women and their families. These pieces can be purchased in person at the Craft + Folk Art Museum in LA, CA, or online at CAFAM.org.
Homelessness is a multifaceted and complicated problem with no one solution. It is not just "their" problem, but the problem of our country, our state, our county, and our city. It is our problem. The more of us participating in this conversation, the more solutions we can generate.
If you would like to volunteer or donate directly to Inland Valley Hope Partners, you can call (909)622-3806 or visit InlandValleyHopePartners.org.