Art Platform Helps Homeless And Disabled Artists Sell Their Work

Talent knows no bounds

Oct 25, 2019

Talent can come from anywhere and anyone. Whether they’ve majored in art or were blessed with a talent from birth, any artist should be able to share their gift with the world. 

That’s exactly what Liz Powers decided when she, her brother, and four local artists from Boston founded ArtLifting. This social good organization empowers homeless and disabled artists and helps them reach financial security by selling their work on ArtLifting’s website.

The website and business platform helps artists gain exposure and allows them to experience the validation they deserve. Though the website currently features 145 artists, when Powers  first embarked on her mission to shine a light on undiscovered talent, she wasn’t expecting to make such an impact.

According to the organization, Powers was just 18-years-old when she secured a grant from Harvard University to bring art into homeless shelters, and she was blown away when she realized how many gifted, artistic people wound up in the shelter. And to add to that, when they did create art, it ultimately ended up in shelter basements or storage rooms and hidden from the world. 

The young student soon realized that this happened all over the US and she quickly decided that she wanted to find a way to display these pieces and celebrate the artists. Powers  understood that for many of these artists, creation could provide income and help them achieve financial independence. They had the talent; what they needed was a way to connect with people from all over the world. 

This became Powers and her partner’s first steps in establishing ArtLifting. They decided to create a digital marketplace that would connect the artists with collectors and consumers who wanted original pieces and prints for their walls. 

Their ultimate goal is to empower homeless artists or those living with disabilities by celebrating and selling their artwork so others can witness and experience their talent. On the platform’s website, artists can sell their work and gain exposure, earning 55 percent profit from each sale. Only one percent goes towards supporting community advocates who support ArtLifting, and the remaining 44 percent is allocated towards further establishing the social enterprise and its mission. 

Anyone from private citizens to small businesses and Fortune 500 companies can purchase these artworks and instantly brighten up their walls. Today, ArtLifting is in 19 cities around the US supporting artists and bringing their incredible stories and artwork to walls around the country.

When Powers first started working in Boston’s homeless shelters, she was overwhelmed by the amount of talent she saw. Historically, artists spent years training and apprenticing before creating their masterpieces. Today, we’re lucky enough to realize that talent can take limitless forms. 

ArtLifting doesn’t just sell gorgeous pieces; they support artists who have overcome incredible hardships and help them achieve what anyone deserves; self empowerment and validation. 

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REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.