Seven out of 10 Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless.
When Pras Michel of the Fugees made this statement in 2006, I’m sure it was considered a gross exaggeration. After witnessing an extended recession and the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, it seems much less far-fetched to me today. That statement was made shortly after Pras created Skid Row, Los Angeles, a documentary account of his nine-day experience posing as a homeless person living in downtown Los Angeles. It changed his and many others perception of the homeless.
Below is a preview of a documentary that ArtC’s Frank Weiss is working on about an artist, Seth Camm, who specializes in painting portraits of homeless people and telling their stories. But it’s more about the homeless than Seth. Frank was commissioned by the Noyes Museum of Art for this video, but as usual, Frank is going way beyond what they may have been expecting. When I spoke to Frank today he was once again at the Rescue Mission in Atlantic City getting more footage. Except for a recent two week trip to Morocco, he has spent much of his free time the last five months devoted to this project. Believe me when I tell you this documentary will win awards. ArtC is proud to be a small part of it.
The homeless situation in this country and in our area has been somewhat controversial. When Guilliani was mayor of New York he made it a priority to rid the tourist areas of them. No one wants to see them or their signs asking for money. I have to admit I have at times been less than sympathetic. While it’s true many are drug addicts, alcoholics or mentally ill and some have chosen their fate, many more are homeless due to circumstances beyond their control. Few of us expect it to happen to us or someone we know. But it could.
There is currently a remarkable exhibit by Seth called Finding Home:Seth Camm at the Noyes Museum in Oceanville. The documentary by Frank will premiere there in early January. I’ll provide details when I have them. In the meantime, enjoy the preview and remember my prediction about the awards. They will be the first of many for Mr. Weiss.
Thanks for listening.