Hobos to Street People book tour

Art Hazelwood

We've had some great events surrounding the book Hobos to Street People. At Time Tested Books, in Sacramento, the evening was led off by a member of Safeground Sacramento who talked about their efforts to create basic housing for homeless people, pointing out that during the Depression Sacramento allowed Hoovervilles of homeless encampements whereas today the new Hoovervilles (Hoovervilles 2.0?) are being shut down by police sweeps. A young homeless couple talked about their day to day experiences. The audience, which included many local activists, kept a lively discussion going throughout the presentation.

At Chico State University my presentation was introduced by Michael Coyle of the Department of Political Science, and director of the Peace Institute their. The event was sponsored by several on campus groups including the Turner Print Museum. The event was a benefit for the Jesus Center, a shelter in Chico.

This last week we had moving evening of speakers and a wide ranging discussion about Art as Organizing in San Francisco at the new Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics. I led off with a talk about the historical context of homelessness and artistic and social responses to it. I was followed by an energetic and moving multimedia extravaganza by Machiko Saito and youth from Roaddawgz Homeless Youth Creative Drop-in CenterFrancisco Dominguez led off a presentation of his photographs of political struggle with photos he had just taken at the pepper spraying of students at UC DavisCoalition on Homelessness civil rights organizer,Bob Offer-Westort tied together the use of art in the struggle to oppose San Francisco's law against sitting on city sidewalks. The night was summed up by Paul Boden of Western Regional Advocacy ProjectThe walls of the center were covered with an exhibition of political art posters, prints, and photographs.

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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.