The Painting Workshop “Not to Reject” is a place of work and support for people who are living or staying in shelters for homeless people and a place of regular exhibitions of their works to a wider audience with a possibility to purchase paintings. The meaning of this work is an in-depth diagnosis of the state of homelessness, its place in society and in individual biographies.
The Painting workshop “Not to be Rejected” is authored by artist and educator Arek Parasite. From the beginning of its activity employees under the supervision of Parasite learned the basics of art, so they could select technique to tell about their life experiences and problems they are facing, convey emotions and reflections or to break away from the current reality.
People affected by homelessness often lack hope and motivation to change their position. They begin to accept their status and treat it as natural. At the same time, a breeding ground for art is the tension between what gives comfort and stability, and the problems and variability. These conflicts tend to be aesthetic, artistic, but also personal, social or political. Ability to articulate the problem through art associated with the real impact of its sale on the economic status may be the answer to part of the needs of the homeless.
The core of the Painting Workshop is a belief in the therapeutic role of art and a conviction that thanks to art homeless people can improve their mood, and perhaps even the financial situation. There is a possibility to purchase their works and give some financial support to the initiative and “homeless” painters. The first step has already been done. Income from the sale enabled the continuation of the activity of “Not to be Rejected” workshop and gave its participants a chance for long-term employment.