Hobos to Street People

Art Hazelwood
Artists’ Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present


$25.95 Comment: 

Hobos to Street People offers a comparison of the culture and politics of homelessness as seen through artwork since the Great Depression. The book is based on the touring exhibition of the same name that first opened in early 2009-the time of the greatest economic downturn since the 1929 Stock Market Crash. As the numbers of people living in poverty continues to swell, this book looks to the past for lessons for today. A wide range of artists have brought attention to the issue, including historical figures such as Rockwell Kent, Fritz Eichenberg, Jacob Burck, Dorothea Lange and contemporary artists Kiki Smith, Sandow Birk, Eric Drooker and many more. The text, written by artist and curator Art Hazelwood, places the artwork within the history of social and political responses from the New Deal, through McCarthyism, to the rise of modern homelessness in the 1980s. Sections of the book focus on different aspects of homelessness including day to day life, displacement, rural poverty and political struggle. Emphasis is also given to the means by which artists have been able to get their message out whether through publications, government programs of the New Deal, street posters, exhibitions, or alliances with activist groups. 

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the books will be donated to homeless advocacy groups. Donors can direct the donation using the comment box above. (enter: WRAP, COH or Spirit)

The book is based on the traveling exhibition of the same name.The exhibition began at the California Historical Society in San Francisco in February of 2009. California Exhibition Resources Alliance (CERA)  is the touring company. The next exhibition date for the tour will be listed below if/when scheduled.

The exhibition images can be seen online at Western Regional Advocacy Project.

Reviews of 'Hobos':

The Never Ending Tale: Images of Despair and Hope from the Great Depression to the Great Recession
by: Paul Von Blum on November 29th, 2011
Tikkun Daily

Hobos to Street People: Artists’ Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present
by: Harvey Smith

Hobos to Street People: Artists Uncover Hidden History of Poverty
by: Margot Pepper, on September 1, 2011
Street Spirit

Homelessness in Art from the New Deal to the Present
by: DeWitt Cheng on September 1, 2011
Street Spirit

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About Art Hazelwood

Some Information

Art Hazelwood artist, impresario and instigator lives in San Francisco. He tries to integrate being an artist with curating and political activism.

He completed two ceramic tile murals in 2009, one, a memorial to Arnett Watson, a homeless rights activist, the other in a program to aid children of incarcerated parents at Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco. His show of prints, Hubris Corpulentus, about the current US wars, traveled to several venues around the country from 2003 to 2006. He created three large scale book projects with print publisher Eastside Editions in San Francisco. Each of these book projects took two years to complete. His prints are in several public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Public Library, Library of Congress, RSDI Museum, Stanford Special Collections Library, Yale Special Collections Library.

Since 1993 he has worked with several homeless rights organizations creating artwork for street newspapers, creating posters and helping to organize fundraising events.

In 2009 he curated three major exhibitions. The first, a three year traveling exhibition which examines artists’ responses to homelessness from the New Deal to the present, opened at the California Historical Society in San Francisco. He also curated a history of the relief print in Northern California; nearly one hundred woodcuts, linocuts and wood engravings over a one hundred year span, at the Hearst Art Gallery, St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. And he curated a retrospective of slain artist Casper Banjo at the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco.

In 2008, together with Stephen Fredericks of the New York Society of Etchers, he organized the Art of Democracy a national coalition, producing more than one hundred political posters and bringing together more than fifty political art shows taking place all over the country leading up to the presidential elections. He has organized more than 20 group exhibitions and curated shows for individual artists including retrospectives of several artists including William Wolff, Roy Ragle, Casper Banjo, David Avery, Frank Rowe and Richard Correll (a two person show) and Patricia Cosper Brandes.