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Renewal & community: ‘Recycled Heart’ exhibit aims to raise awareness of poverty, homelessness

There’s been a surge in artists using reclaimed items to create new work.

This is he focus of ArtStreet’s “Recycled Heart” exhibit, which opens tonight at the Harwood Art Center.

The exhibit runs through Feb. 22.

“We usually have around 100 pieces, and it’s our largest show of the year,” says Mindy Grossberg, ArtStreet Program coordinator. “This is one of our favorite shows. We feel really supported by the Harwood.”

ArtStreet is a program of Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless.

The exhibit will feature mixed-media and recycled art by ArtStreet artists who are recognized for their skills in recycled art.

Bringing the injustice of poverty and homelessness together, “Recycled Heart” is an exhibit that is uniquely poised to capture the diverse, distinct and highly individual responses of ArtStreet artists’ interpretation of their community experiences in relation to poverty and homelessness.

Grossberg says ArtStreet makes access to the arts available to those least likely to enjoy it while holding a space to build community connections and increase awareness of the issues of homelessness through the art-making process.

This year, Harwood Art Center and Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless celebrate more than two decades of partnership in working to address community issues related to homelessness.

ArtStreet will also be showcasing the work of Helen Atkins, the organization’s first artist-in-residence.

Atkins will present her piece “Passages and Pauses.”

“We’ll be creating three archways in the area,” Atkins says. “We’re taking all these art pieces and adorning them. The arches are a metaphor for personal transformation. Basically, people are offering their own stories for the show.”

Atkins spent more than a month learning about ArtStreet and what would fit in with the organization.

“I went to some of their community meetings,” Atkins says. “We talked about what people are interested in. The sense of community is a big factor. I was thinking of a project that was interesting on a personal level – also a metaphor for the community.”

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