Raising Poverty Awareness with New Homeless Signs

Signs for the Homeless is an art project started by artists Kenji Nakayama and Christopher Hope in an effort to raise awareness about poverty and homelessness around the Boston area. The basic concept behind the ongoing project is that the two artists approach homeless people on the streets who are holding signs and propose an exchange. As their tag line states: “A sign in exchange for donations and a hand painted sign.” Essentially, Nakayama and Hope offer $10 and create hand painted signs for each person they come across.

Having launched a blog in February 2012 (though their first post features a man that was approached in 2010), the duo document their undertaking with a before and after photo of these people they swap signs with along with a brief interview offering some insight into their circumstances. The signs themselves are bright and colorful in an effort to gain attention and feature all of the same text that their old pieces of cardboard had (including any misspellings and grammatical errors).

Ultimately, the goal is to aid these unfortunate people, though the project has raised eyebrows and drawn concerning criticism. The most argued points for a project like this include the exploitation of the homeless and the fact that the new signs may have a negative effect on their ability to receive street donations. Passersby may not take their dire situation seriously with a flashy sign. In fact, some may assume that they are street promoters and never even bother to read their messages.

Top photo: Jimmy Sunshine, 31, Davis Square, Somerville, MA

Colleen, 20, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

Jim, 58, Kneeland Street near South Station

Mike, 57, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

Alberto, Kneeland Street near South Station

Susan J., 46, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

Angela Douyon-Previlon, Central Square, Cambridge, MA

Bobbi, 52, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

Rudolph West, 63, Central Square, Cambridge, MA

Dana Robinson, 45, Central Square, Cambridge, MA

Frank, I-93 off-ramp near South Station

Chris, Downtown Crossings

Signs for the Homeless blog
via [izismile]

January 22, 2017

Dynamic Sculptures Capture Powerful Combination of Emotion and Movement

The dynamic work of sculptor Gaylord Ho is instantly recognizable. Emotion oozes from the figures, as they throw their energy into dancerly poses. His female figures twist and twirl, animated and vital. Born in Taiwan, the 66-year-old artist has a fascinating personal history. Growing up as the son of low income farmers, Ho was expected to balance his studies while helping on the rice farm.

Read Article

January 21, 2017

Countless Glittering Stars Illuminate a Dreamy World Below

For those of us who live in a bustling, crowded metropolis, a glittering sky filled with stars is a spectacular sight we rarely get to see. Finnish photographer Oscar Keserci offers us glimpses of these astounding views and tranquil starry nights. His breathtaking images showcase dark skies fully illuminated by millions of brilliant celestial points.

Read Article

Get Our Weekly Newsletter