Two Art of Recovery projects highlight faces of our community in October

October 5, 2023 11:12 AM

Updated Oct. 10, 2023

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — In October, the Art of Recovery will feature two photography projects highlighting the stories of often-overlooked members of the Santa Monica community through their portraits.

The Women's Empowerment Project is a collaboration between artist Maiwenn Raoult and six women who were in transitional housing at The People Concern, Santa Monica. In the fall of 2020, Raoult spent eight weeks in dialogue with the six participants and explored their experience of homelessness, their strengths and goals, and the best advice they’ve received. Raoult took portraits and provided the participants with disposable cameras to document what brought them joy and empowerment throughout their day. 

The exhibit is the culmination of their work together and features a portrait of each participant with excerpts of their words. The project and stories highlight how art can uplift individuals and bring communities together. The participants’ input and artistic vision played a role throughout the artistic process, and they worked with Raoult to determine which excerpts were paired with their portraits and what writing would complement the images they took.

The Women’s Empowerment Project will be on view in the Santa Monica Main Library’s central courtyard from Oct. 12 through Nov. 13 during library hours. For more information, including viewing the photos taken by the participants, visit the Public Art Archive.

Also this month, the Pico Improvement Organization, in partnership with renowned Los Angeles photographer Sam Comen will present Our Pico, a portrait gallery celebrating the workers who invest their lives in the Pico neighborhood’s economy and reveal the humanity behind the area’s storefronts. The portraits, taken by Comen, highlight hands-on work, family entrepreneurship, artisan craft and gig economy jobs. The photographs focus on workers who roll up their sleeves and open the business each day, investing in person-to-person civic engagement that keep Pico neighborhood merchants thriving.

Our Pico will be on display at the Pico Culture House, 3018 Pico Blvd., as well as in the windows and doors of 12 select businesses along Pico Corridor from Oct. 26 through Dec. 30. For more information on Our Pico click here.

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