Faces of HomelessnessHow often do we encounter people impacted by homelessness? Do you know they are there? Or have you trained yourself not to look at them? You may remember, if you think on it, where someone homeless hangs out, panhandling day after day, maybe with a sign that reads “God Bless You.”

The newest Arts Council of Fayetteville Cumberland County (ACFCC) exhibit, "I AM SOMEBODY ­– Faces of Homelessness Exhibition: Works by Dona Marlowe," is on display until Jan. 22. Individuals interested in seeing the show can do so at The Arts Center located at 301 Hay St. in historic downtown Fayetteville.

“These images must be seen to be felt,” Marlowe explains. “Getting to know the people depicted in my photographs, I invited them to participate in my artistic representation of them — including a welcomed invitation to visit this exhibit.”

The idea for the exhibit came to Marlowe when she realized that when she encountered the homeless, she always averted her eyes, pretending not to notice these individuals. She wondered what it must be like to be unseen.

This realization caused Marlowe to think about how the unhoused community is around us but not acknowledged, and certainly not with us.

“How must it feel to be excluded by most, if not all, of society,” Marlowe asked.

She decided to create photographs and mixed media portraits, but she didn’t do it herself. She had help. Stacey Buckner, the owner of Off-Road Rescue, introduced Marlowe to the homeless community and another helper also helped find an additional two people to participate.

Sam Robbins’ song, “Hard to Hate,” was adapted for the show to play during the exhibit.

Fifty percent of the proceeds from all sales of the photographs will be donated to Off-Road Outreach.

Marlowe’s portrait of an individual named William, featured in this exhibit, was selected for the 2021 Annual Juried Exhibition by the Artist Collective in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She sees “I AM SOMEBODY - Faces of Homelessness” as the first of many projects on her journey as a photo activist.

She uses her art to fight for unseen, unheard, forgotten or powerless people.

She hopes that the masses will open their eyes to those struggling and do what we can to help them.

ACFCC, who are hosting the exhibit, are a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization based in Fayetteville. They support individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the arts.

Founded in 1973, the ACFCC has served as a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations and the greater community by administering programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate economic growth, reinforce child education through the arts and enhance the cultural identity of the arts and entertainment district.

This event is free and open to the public. For additional information visit, www.WeAreTheARTS.com/iamsomebody or call, 910-323-1776.

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