Here are some of the artists we are proud to work with.
Allen was born in 1974 in Florida. A self-taught artists and tattoo artist, he has the vision to use his art to show the resilience of the human spirit. "No matter what life throws your way, you can overcome tragedy". He is a survivor of childhood abuse and has struggled to cope with the trauma of that abuse. As a young adult Allen turned to drugs to dull the emotional pain that "drove me to jails, institutions, and very close to death". Stuck in Chattanooga, broke homeless, and "spiritually dead", Allen received the wake up call from his son who continues to be his inspiration for recovery. Allen aspires to use his art and his school-of-hard-knocks knowledge to help at-risk youth.
Amy attributes her artistic influence to her grandmother, who gave her a scrap box that she and Amy and Amy’s mother kept full of “tidbits” treasures with which to create. This grandmother would supply her with “real” art materials and encouraged her free expression on these special summer visits of her childhood. After struggling for many years with physical and psychological issues, Amy renewed her former passion for making art from odds and ends, finding that it helps her to cope with her fragmented emotions. She has developed a style that combines collage technique with sculptural use of vintage, found objects.
Ana Martinez was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico. She learned to crochet and cross-stitch dresses and purses at 8 years old. Ana and her family have lived in Chattanooga for 13 years now. Language being a barrier, she can connect and do her craft as a source of income. Her pieces are 100 % handmade and uniquely beautiful.
“I Grew up in Memphis. I got interested in art as a child and teen. I have always loved art and comic book heroes. I came to St. Mary’s for the weekly breakfast and started to get active in art again. I love music, art, and movies. And I love meeting positive people, playing my guitar, and singing.”
Anthony Johnston was born on August 16, 1965 in Jackson, TN. He knew he wanted to be an artist by the age of thirteen. Anthony started going to Outreach Housing and Community in Memphis around 2010. He began attending art class at OHC in January of 2016. Painting portraits is his favorite. He loves painting faces and creating different expressions.
“I was homeless for an extended period from late 2008 to late 2012. During this time, I stayed with my grandmother in Mississippi, friends who took pity on me, and in homeless shelters. I sometimes slept in abandoned buildings or outside with other homeless people. What helped me to endure was my faith in God and that I didn't succumb to drugs, alcohol, or depression. I had faith that things would get better and that I was a human being with value and dignity, no matter how difficult things became. It was in October 2012 that I was referred to the VA Hospital to talk to a counselor. Having served in the military back in 1987, I met the criteria to be placed on the list for transitional housing for veterans. I did attend both the Memphis College of Art and the Savannah College of Art & Design in the past. Unfortunately, I was forced to drop out of art school because of being unable to secure further funding. Then as well as now, I still see myself as a lifelong student who has a love and passion for art and illustration.”
Anthony Davis was in Memphis, TN on March 22, 1966. He always enjoyed art in school as a kid. Anthony loves creativity of all kinds. He especially likes working with bright colors. Anthony started art class at Outreach Housing and Community at the beginning of 2016. He enjoys the fellowship and conversation while making art.
Ashley Keen is originally from Crossville,TN. She came to Chattanooga in November of 2016 with her young daughter, to be closer to family. She learned about H*Art Gallery through Maclellen Shelter for Families. She has made art for as long as she can remember, working in various media: drawing, painting, sewing, and with clay. She would like to pursue her education in art, and one day would love to provide a home in the country for her and her daughter.
The Castro family was displaced from Colombia for political reasons. They were refugees in Ecuador, where Ayda and Sara met a woman named Paquita Pluas. She taught them the art of jewelry and to work with the tagua. It is an exotic seed that only grows in the Amazon. They are now refugees in the USA. Ayda, along with her husband, Nestor, are working hard to provide for their three children and grandson.