WASILLA — Local art lovers have a unique opportunity to support MyHouse’s ongoing efforts supporting homeless youth by bidding on 20 different portraits of their clients through Feb. 28.
“I think it’s an amazing picture of what we really do here… recognizing that homeless youth are assets in our community, not liabilities,” MyHouse founder Michelle Overstreet said. “It’s also a nice way for people to see some of the success stories.”
Valley artist Nancy Angelini said that she created the Twenty Portraits fundraiser because she strongly believes in the MyHouse mission and witnessed countless client success stories that touched her deeply.
“I think that it should be franchised across the country. I mean, it should be a global project. Catching youth and turning their lives in a positive direction is the way we’re gonna change our future for the better. I’m outstanded by what they achieve here,” Angelini said.
Angelini has volunteered at MyHouse in the past, helping out with things like their Supper Club. She said that she’s primarily a landscape artists, but she was inspired to make more portraits after taking a class in the Lower 48. She resolved to find a way to give back while increasing her skills, and MyHouse was the first place to come to mind.
“The last few years I’ve tried to connect with MyHouse in some way, and it just clicked,” Angelini said.
Angelini said that she started working on the portraits last February, interviewing various MyHouse clients, recording their stories, and painting their likeness.
“The biggest part of the project is the stories. I continue to say they’re not necessarily portraits of people. They’re portraits of voices. Their stories… some of them are shocking. Some of them are amazing. Some of the hard things they’ve gone through are horrific, traumatic. But, where they are now is the beauty of it for most of them,” Angelini said.
There’s currently five bids so far, according to Angelini. She said that people can follow a link on her studio webpage to view the full gallery of portraits to bid on. She said that people who win their auctioned item can choose from 20 other paintings in exchange for the portrait. After that, she plans to reunite the portraits with their subjects.
“It’s a triple win for anyone who bids. It’s a win-win-win because the model will get a portrait, they will get a painting, and a donation will be made to MyHouse on their behalf,” Angelini said.
Angelini said that her biggest takeaway from this project was having her eyes opened to the harsh reality homeless youth face on a daily basis. Not all are as fortunate enough to become a success story and have someone paint a portrait of them.
“It just makes you see differently,” Angelini said.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at email@example.com