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Real Change Portrait Project on view at the Seattle City Hall Gallery

March 2 – May 2, 2016; Reception March 1st from 4 to 6 p.m.


David PurnellSEATTLE, (February 29, 2016) —The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture presents Real Change Portrait Project, an exhibition featuring portraits of Seattle Real Change newspaper vendors, in the Seattle City Hall Gallery, March 2 through May 2, 2016.

“In the face of the growing homelessness crisis we are witnessing, it is so important that we remember the people behind the statistics and recognize their resilience through the creative spirit,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This exhibit adds humanity to one of the most difficult and complicated problems we address as a community.”

The exhibition was organized by Real Change Art Director Jon Williams. Founded in 1994, Real Change is an award-winning weekly newspaper that provides immediate employment opportunity and takes action for economic, social, and racial justice. Real Change Portrait Project includes 40 portraits of Real Change vendors, many of whom are either homeless, living in shelters or living in low-income housing.

The vendors have become as much a part of Seattle’s landscape as the city’s restaurants, buildings and shops. Williams asked several Puget Sound artists, professionals and students including Derek Gundy, Robin Weiss and Sam Day to create portraits of vendors using media of their choosing. The portraits range in medium and include acrylics, oil on canvas and watercolors. Each portrait is accompanied by a bio of the vendor and together, give viewers a brief glimpse into the life of the subject.

The Real Change Portrait Project began more than four years ago and has grown to almost 40 portraits. It has become an artistic outreach project for Real Change. The portraits foster collaborations between artists of all levels and the vendors who circulate the paper. The Real Change Portrait Project was first exhibited in Bremerton when there were 12 portraits. The exhibition has expanded and traveled to Poulsbo, Port Angeles, Edmonds, Woodinville and Pioneer Square.

For more information on exhibitions and the Office of Arts & Culture, go here:

Image: David Prunell by Laura Stokes.