Storefront Opening Event

Participants, youth, neighbors, artists, surrounding community, and advocates were welcomed to the storefront hub with food, music and art making. The storefront is the focal point, hub, a filter, an opportunity and place for conversation and storytelling about the complex issue of housing insecurity for the duration of the project.

Blackboard by Shira Walinsky, Photo by Latasha Billington

The installation includes a dialogical structure between art work generated by youth ( fostered by teaching and resident artists) and artwork generated by the artists- in- residence Ernel Martinez and Shira Walinsky in response to the youth, their artwork, statements and ideas.

On The Way Home

On The Way Home (youth artwork with Jared Wood, assembled by Ernel Martinez), Photo by Steve Weinik

“On the Way home” assembled by Ernel Martinez, is based on a graphic novel (under construction). The graphic novel is a collaborative project created in the imaginative space of youth participants about challenges and youth concerns that stem from the stress of housing insecurity. It’s by E3 West Youth and Place to Call Home alumni under the leadership of teaching artists Jared Wood and Becky Miller.

On The Way Home by Ernel Martinez

On the Way Home by Ernel Martinez (with artwork by youth with Jared Wood), Photo by Steve Weinik

By juxtaposing fantasy narrative with real furniture, the work is a subversive reminder of how long the journey to home can be.

These are photographs taken by youth to document doorways and windows. A theme emerged, symbolic of the youth photographers’ personal journeys, that of housing/home as a state of process or action. It was reflected in the various states of buildings depicted. 

The youth artwork was also transformed into an awesome T-shirt design by Shira Walinsky!

The next 2nd Friday Event is January 10, 4:30-7:00pm. Other upcoming activities: Community “paint” day at our additional “temporary storefront” at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Broad and Cherry Streets 12-3, February 9. For more information, visit

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