Even though the homeless population in Peel Region may seem invisible to some, a 2017 United Way study revealed there are over 222,000 people in Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga who deal with the problem of homelessness or precarious housing. Now there is an art gallery trying to increase awareness of the issue while offering an artistic outlet for the homeless population. The Graceful Art Gallery will be displaying the artwork of local homeless and marginalized people in the community on a rotating basis.
Created by the Regeneration Outreach Community art program, the Graceful Art Gallery is located at Grace Place/Grace United Church in downtown Brampton. The Gallery was also made possible by the support of “The Living Spirit Fund” at the United Church of Canada Foundation, Sherwin-Williams Paint, and The Government of Canada Enabling Accessibility Fund.
This isn’t the first time that Regeneration has highlighted the plight of the homeless through artistic expression. In October 2017, Regeneration’s collaborated with Garry Glowacki of The Bridge Prison Ministry on a photography exhibit to bring awareness to this situation and encourage both the public and political leaders to find solutions.
In January 2018, Brampton residents got the chance to see an up close and personal look at what it’s like to be a senior citizen struggling with homelessness. Along with support from The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Regeneration partnered with Youth Media empowerment organization Reel Youth on a series of youth-produced documentary films about homeless seniors in Brampton.
The Grace Place website provides profiles of some of the artists featured in the gallery, and promises to give their artists “the proper treatment they deserve.” They also state that they believe in changing people’s lives one gallery show at a time.