WRAP works with artists to put ideas into visual form and carry our message directly to the viewer. This artwork is created as part of our ongoing housing and civil rights campaigns. You are free to use them too. We just ask that you credit WRAP and share your work with us.
Creative Commons License
This work at http://wraphome.org/ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Over the past 30 years, as the disastrous proportions of contemporary homelessness became the everyday world of American life, artwork has increasingly served as a vital part of organizing and bearing witness to the struggles of homeless people. In San Francisco, artists and activists have forged relationships that have continued to expand, with illustrations in the Street Sheet (San Francisco’s Street Newspaper), wheat-pasted posters, protest banners, stencil paintings, murals, exhibitions, and official and unofficial public art campaigns.
In 2005, in order to push back against those forces attacking homeless people from the federal and state level, Paul Boden transitioned from the Coalition to form WRAP. Their first major project was the publication, Without Housing: Decades of Federal Housing Cutbacks, Massive Homelessness, and Policy Failures. WRAP brought together a group of artists to illustrate the data, showing the real sources of national homelessness. Without Housing graphically shows the decrease in rural housing and declining spending on public housing in contrast to increased mortgage deductions and military spending. The artists who tackled the data had to create images that were evocative and yet still showed the factual basis of the argument that there was a cause behind the vast increase in poverty and homelessness over the last 30 years.
The ongoing use of artwork is an essential aspect of WRAP’s messaging. The use and purposes of artwork varies. A protest demands a clear unambiguous statement of purpose, but there are different forms of street actions that can use more humor, or subtle messaging. But WRAP also uses artwork informing and educating in conferences, public forums and through distribution throughout our network of members. The usefulness of artwork is that it can contain an important truth about the forces we are struggling against and it can give voice and presence to those of us who are so often voiceless and invisible.
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