“Home: Where I Live” offers a glimpse into homelessness in Dothan

DOTHAN, Alabama – January 16, 2019 – The Wiregrass Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of Home: Where I Live on the evening of January 17 at Art After Hours. Home explores the unique perspective of Dothan and Wiregrass area citizens that are either homeless or housing insecure. Artists were each given a disposable camera in order to capture scenes in their everyday lives – streetscapes, community organizations, abandoned properties, and their community. What resulted is an intimate look at both the hardships that these artists face, as well as the bright moments they find — whether that be an organization that might help them find food or shelter or in the friendship they share with a neighbor.

The exhibition was organized by the Wiregrass Museum of Art in partnership with The Harbor, a mission in downtown Dothan that serves people in need.

“Our role in this project is to provide a platform that enables our community members and community organizations to share their stories. I like to remind people that art is more than an object; it can be an important tool for awareness and dialogue. Not only is this exhibition a visual representation of the struggles that some of our neighbors face, but I think it also serves to highlight how creative our community is,” said Dana-Marie Lemmer, director and curator of the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

The exhibition, inspired by Through Our Eyes, a project that originated in Spartanburg, South Carolina, serves to shine a light on the growing number of people that find themselves without a place to call their own. These photos represent what home looks like to them. Harbor volunteers also worked with children they serve to paint their own representations of home. The paintings will be on display along with the photos in WMA’s Main Gallery.

“It is empowering for those who are underserved in our community to have a voice and a validation of what home looks like for them, which is vastly different than most people’s ideas of home — both in the artistic photographs that the adults took, as well as the paintings that the children made. Across the board, home meant something very, very different than what most people would think of home,” said the Reverend Kody Kirchhoff, executive director of The Harbor.

Kirchhoff believes the Home exhibition is a chance for the Wiregrass community to consider the perspectives of all who call Dothan home, validating the experiences of everyone no matter their circumstances.

“I think it will change the way that people view home. And my hope is that it can be this uniting piece that home means very different things, but we all have a voice in what it means to us.”

After opening on the evening of January 17, Home: Where I Live will run from January 18 through February 16. WMA’s galleries are open to the public every Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Private tours with guided art activities in the studio can be arranged by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Art After Hours is held at the Wiregrass Museum of Art in January, April, July and October to celebrate the opening of quarterly exhibitions. The winter event will take place on Thursday, January 17 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. Admission is free for members and $5 for non-members. Memberships are offered for half price at the door of all Art After Hours events.

This exhibition has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Related programming: 

On January 30 at 11:30 a.m., “Home: Perspectives on Housing in Dothan,” a panel discussion to present different viewpoints on housing in the community will be held in WMA’s Great Hall. The free event will be hosted by Mayor Mark Saliba, and the public is invited to attend. Lunch will be served and reservations are required. To make a reservation, please send an email to info@wiregrassmuseum or call 334-794-3871. Seating is limited.

Featured in header:
Photograph by Roddy James, 2018.

Exhibition images available upon request.

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About the Wiregrass Museum of Art

The Wiregrass Museum of Art inspires a lifelong appreciation for the visual arts by providing innovative educational programs that engage diverse audiences through the collection and exhibition of quality works. Since its founding in 1988, WMA has offered educational programs, nationally-acclaimed art exhibitions and community events throughout the year. Its Board of Trustees guides the long-term vision and strategic goals, while its membership, City and County support, and grant funding provide the resources needed to fulfill its mission.

Contact:

Lara Kosolapoff-Wright
Communications Manager, WMA
334.794.3871, Ext. 27
lara@wiregrassmuseum.org

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Throughout the year, WMA will host “Meet the Educator” days where parents and their children can come to the classroom to meet the instructor before beginning classes and camps. 2019’s schedule is as follows: January 30 from 4pm-6pm, May 29 from 4pm-6pm, and August 28 from 4pm-6pm.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.