How creating art helps these women get out of poverty

Sharon is an artist who doesn't want her past to bog down her work. That past, however, is partly what drives her creative process.

KUSA - Sharon is an artist who doesn't want her past to bog down her work. That past, however, is partly what drives her creative process.

"I know the past defines who were are, so I'm sure I bring that along with my art," she said.

She got laid off in 2011, almost lost her apartment and was battling depression when she found out about Art Restart.

"So I'm just standing there like, 'what's next in my life'," she said. "A lady approached me and says, 'hey have you ever thought of doing art and doing cards?"

Art Restart's main medium is greeting cards. The program's director Teresa Densmore says they're foraying into large-scale work now.

"We believe so many of our artists have this talent and we're excited to see them in different ways and to get a wider audience interested in our art and our people," she said.

That's where Fascination St. Fine Art Gallery comes in. It's been a nationally recognized gallery in Cherry Creek North for nearly three decades. Aaron Lapedis has owned the gallery since day one, and he's partnered with Art Restart to put on the show Painting Possibilities: An Evening of Art. It's on Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a $20 donation Fascination St. Art Gallery. 

"My belief is everybody needs a chance," Lapedis said. "I thought with the partnership we were taking an elite few from this organization and giving them a shot and hopefully some of them will take it to the next level."

Five artists were selected from about 25 entrants. They'll get 50 percent of the profits from the sale of their work. The other 50 percent will go back into Art Restart.

More than that for Sharon, though, the show is a chance for her work to find an engaged audience.

"It's rewarding when people see your work and love it," she said.

Sharon says her struggle isn't over, but she's in a better place than some of the artists whose work will be displayed alongside hers. She credits much of that change in fortune to Art Restart and her renowned passion for art.

"I could, you know, cry and bemoan and say 'whoa is me and life is hard'," she said. "But I enjoyed the struggle. Came out of the struggle and I have a long way to go, you know?"

 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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