Warm and fuzzy feelings may arise when some people think about home, but for others, it isn’t always as positive. “Shelter: Concepts of Home” is an upcoming art exhibition currently taking submissions where artists are asked how they create a feeling of home.
Periphery Media, a Plant City-based group formed by Clay Hollenkamp and Shelby Baerwalde, is interested in creating various opportunities for artists. They are partnering with the University of South Florida’s Humanities Institute and The Portico (a nonprofit that supports homelessness issues in Tampa) in a collaboration to display art about the many ways people create a home, even if it isn’t the prettiest or most comfortable of environments.
Inspiration for this exhibition comes from the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City written by Mathew Desmond, who gave a talk on Sept. 19 (funded by the USF Humanities Institute along with other events to highlight the theme of housing insecurity). This exhibition will end the series of events on this topic.
“The book is a study of eight families in Milwaukee that have insecure housing situations: they were either evicted or going through the struggle of that process. Desmond points out that despite how these people are in bad conditions, they still put up curtains or a lamp to make a sense of home,” says Hollenkamp. “It’s a tough portrait of the inadequacies of public housing system, but an inspiring portrait of resilience and how people can make the best of a situation by doing things as small as hanging up a picture. It showed both sides of these people: their bad situations, but they fight through it.”
Two jurors, one from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and a local artist not participating in the show, will choose 35-50 pieces of 2D and 3D art for the large exhibition space at The Portico Community Hall. Among those pieces, the jurors will pick a Best of Show and two Honorable Mentions that will receive cash prizes.
“We want artists to choose however they want to interpret the theme of what home and what that means to a person,” Hollenkamp says.
Submissions will be open through Dec. 20, where artists can submit up to three pieces. Fees are $20 for one submission, $35 for two, and $45 for three. Selected art will be on display and for sale from Jan. 24 through March 31 during events. The opening reception will be on Jan. 24 from 6-9 p.m. with live entertainment and hor d'oeuvres.