A homeless man and women sit on bench right across the street from Melisa Finds Gallery where inside Joshua Correa, an artist, and David Duran, an activist, prepare for The Longest Night art exhibit. An exhibit that will feature the many faces of homelessness through work of art. The show is brought together by Hope4Restoration, Cultivating Growth and Yorba Linda Arts Alliance Foundation.
The art that will be displayed comes from various artists; some professional and some non-professional. An art project called “Faces Of Santa Ana”, which features brightly-colored, vibrant portraits of homeless people around the city, will be part of the display.
Another artist Jason Leith, director of Saddleback Church Visual Arts, will display his gritty memorials dedicated to the homeless who have died to and on the streets. HIS House, a non profit that offers housing to abused and neglected children from newborns to 18-year-olds, will also have art from the children up for display.
“The exhibition holds many purposes,” explains Corrrea as he walks from one end of the studio to the next. “Giving the chance to artists so that they can explore the issues of homelessness, an opportunity for homeless to experience an event dedicated to them and celebrated for them through the community, to memorialize homeless who have passed away and those still experiencing homelessness.”
Tim Houchen, the founder of Hope4Restoration and organizer of ‘The Longest Night’ art exhibit was homeless at the Santa Ana Civic Center between 2011 and 2015.
“While I was out there, many artists from Artists Village would do some really nice things for us,” Houchen expresses. “I always appreciated the genuine compassion and support that the artists would provide for us despite them being impoverished nearly as badly as we were.”
“I always admired the way that an artist could capture homelessness in his expression of art and the art often invoked a strong message,” says Houchen.
The Studio Melisa Finds Gallery, 201 N. Main St. Santa Ana. Open during the Santa Ana Art Walk on Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. and during the Hope 4 Restoration “Kick-Off Fundraiser” on Jan. 13. 6 to 10 p.m. Special viewings by appointment.