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Unclaimed Art Used to Lift Spirits – “Art in Your Home” to Benefit Transitional Housing Community

For immediate release                      

11 September 2014

 Unclaimed Art Used to Lift Spirits

“Art in Your Home” to Benefit Transitional Housing Community

 SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Arts & Museums is pleased to announce “Art in Your Home,” an exciting program in partnership with Palmer Court in Salt Lake City. Palmer Court, managed by The Road Home, is a permanent supportive housing complex for individuals and families that have experienced chronic homelessness.

“In each home should hang a good picture, no matter how small,” stated Alice Merrill Horne, one of the first female state lawmakers and founder of Utah Arts & Museums — the oldest state-funded arts agency in the nation, founded in 1899. Over the years, Utah Arts & Museums has amassed a collection of paintings, drawings, photographs and prints that were submitted by Utah artists but were never signed or claimed by their creators. Selling the art seemed inappropriate, said Utah Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey. Hiskey made it clear that these works are not part of the Utah Fine Art Collection, which is a highly valuable collection of noted Utah artists, but rather art created by local artists for monthly exhibitions.

Utah Arts & Museums staff came up with the idea of donating the art to residents in transitional housing. “Sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference,” Hiskey said. “We thought this project was an important way to honor the amazing legacy of our founder while serving the community in a meaningful way.”

“While art may seem a trivial issue in the greater context of homelessness, having a piece of art that can inspire, uplift and create light in an individual’s life can be a boon to those individuals who are struggling so hard to turn their lives around,” said Pamela Atkinson, a longtime homeless advocate and advisor to Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert.

“The Road Home appreciates the generosity and creativity of the Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ ‘Art in Your Home’ project. What an ingenious way to brighten the lives and help enhance the homes of our clients while honoring their success in transitioning into housing,” noted Matt Minkevitch, Executive Director of The Road Home.

“We were interested in making the transition to housing a celebration and want to offer the residents some of the comforts of home they may not otherwise have,” said Visual Arts Manager Felicia Baca. “The power of art in people’s lives is enriching and multifaceted, and we want to foster that.”

Residents of Palmer Court have signed up to choose works of art for their homes. The distribution of the artwork will take place on September 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Palmer Court.

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