Art from the Streets (2006) Documentary, 73 minutes
Director: Layton Blaylock

Art from the Streets is a feature length documentary about a program for homeless artists called Art From the Streets. This all-volunteer program was established in 1991 with the idea of providing a safe and nurturing environment for homeless people to produce art. They accomplish this mission by sponsoring twice weekly art “classes” and an annual show to sell their work. The film tells this story by tracking five of the artists over the course of a year. Viewers will visit homeless camps, learn the daily challenges of street life, and witness the strengths of human character. You will also experience the 2-day show and sale where the artists’ work is sold and where they interact with people that they rarely have a chance to encounter in such a positive way.

Art From the Streets

Art From the Streets was founded in 1991 by a group of Austin artists as a way to bring positive, nurturing, encouraging experiences and relationships into the lives of homeless individuals. While the public is most familiar with the annual show, the twice-weekly art classes are at the core of the program. People who are homeless have the opportunity to explore their painting and drawing skills in open studio art classes held every Tuesday and Thursday at ARCH—Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. But artistic expression isn’t the only benefit. The classes give the participants a way to interact with others in a positive, supportive environment. And they give them a way to express themselves in a healthy, productive manner. The most important thing produced isn’t art, but relationships. Each year, class participants have the opportunity to sell their work at the Art From the Streets Show. Many of the artists have sold enough paintings to afford rent and living expenses, at least for a while. All of them have walked away with a new sense of themselves and a feeling of accomplishment.