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Ed Portal Opens Exhibit Supporting Homeless Artists

{shortcode-f2b42adb8efbe209754d87909a865a1ef425140a}The Harvard Ed Portal partnered with online art marketplace ArtLifting this Saturday to officially open a new exhibit in its Allston gallery titled “Life-Changing Art,” which features the work of homeless and disabled artists.

The exhibition focuses on the positive potential of the artists ArtLifting represents.

“Today is a celebration of that [potential], and our big goal is to treat our artists as professionals and with dignity,” ArtLifting co-founder Liz J. Powers ’10 said at the opening. “This show is a perfect example of that with the professional gallery walls and perfect gallery lighting.” {shortcode-9ec1e153e5a05a43a54b33f9b308298b09e6087b}

ArtLifting sells the original paintings and prints of the artists it represents. Powers said the initial idea behind ArtLifting was to change lives by focusing on the artistic talents of homeless and disabled individuals. Earning income from their artwork gives the artists confidence, and it has a domino effect on other aspects of their lives, Powers said.

Eva B. Rosenberg ’10, arts program manager for the Harvard Ed Portal, said she hopes the new exhibit will promote community ties between Harvard and Allston—one of the Ed Portal’s primary goals.

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“When I started working here, and I knew we would have a gallery with the mission of bringing Harvard and the community together, I thought immediately of Liz and ArtLifting,” Rosenberg said.

According to Powers, the positive results of ArtLifting have been numerous. Since its founding in 2013, five of the previously homeless artists have secured housing at a rate much faster than the seven years it takes for an average homeless male in Boston to find housing. Additionally, ArtLifting has expanded its network from four artists in Boston to nearly fifty artists across the country.

Several members of the local community attended the opening reception. Clara H. Chen, who was visiting from Shanghai, said she enjoyed the unique perspective that the homeless artists brought to their work and hopes to see more in the future.

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