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Debunking Homelessness Myths and Addressing the Housing Crisis Through Art

Mr B Baby's piece "No Place for Home" sheds a raw and emotional light onto the housing crisis (for Be the Change LA)

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Jul 26, 2023

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Collection

This Curation is part of Be the Change.

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No Place for Home

Above: (2 min) Be the Change 2023 | Los Angeles | No Place for Home with Mr B Baby. Video by the Jewish Arts Collaborative.

 

ABOUT THE ART:

A partnership between the artist known as Mr B Baby and The Pico Union Project, No Place for Home addresses the pressing issue of the housing crisis, both locally and globally.

No Place For Home combines acrylic and spray paint to portray two houses, with people desperately trying to make it into one, symbolizing the scarcity of affordable housing and the universal search for a place to belong. Inspired by her daughter, Mr B Baby, who is typically a muralist, infuses her work with a whimsical children’s book vibe.

The artist’s personal connection to the theme shines through as she highlights the impact of the housing crisis on her community. As a single mother, she understands firsthand how minimum wage fails to provide a livable income, affecting her and countless others in her community. She aims to debunk the misconception that homelessness is solely tied to mental health and drug issues, emphasizing the need to treat housing as a human right rather than criminalizing those who are houseless.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

A Latina born and raised in San Diego, California, Michelle Ruby aka Mr B Baby, uses elements of her heritage as inspiration for her striking and lively artwork. Mr B Baby is heavily influenced by her community, as well as her Puerto Rican/Mexican upbringing. By combining vibrant colors with traditional imagery, Mr B Baby is able to uplift her audience and intrigue her viewers. The artist’s aim is to bring happiness and joy to her collectors and community, while also having stronger messages intertwined, all of which are open to the viewer’s interpretation.

 

Learn more about Be the Change and explore more tzedakah boxes from Be the Change L.A. 2023.

No Place for Home

Above: One side of No Place for Home in Plummer Park, West Hollywood for Be the Change L.A. 2023. Photo by Brett Erickson.

 

No Place for Home

Above: A corner of No Place for Home, in which the story continues side-to-side like a mural. Photo by Brett Erickson.

No Place for Home

Above: One side of No Place for Home, in which the story continues side-to-side like a mural. Photo by Brett Erickson.

No Place for Home

Above: A close-up of No Place for Home. Photo by Brett Erickson.

No Place for Home

Above: A close-up of No Place for Home. Photo by Brett Erickson.

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JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture. Learn more at jartsboston.org.

Reflections

1

Given the artist's emotional connection to the housing crisis and her aim to communicate this issue through her art piece, how does the use of acrylic and spray paint and the overall visual representation in the piece convey the desperation of the housing situation?

2

The artist talks about using her art as a platform to raise awareness about the housing crisis and its association with issues beyond just mental health and drug problems. How does her art piece challenge or change your perception of homelessness?

3

How does understanding the mission and actions of the Pico Union Project give you a new perspective on the role of art and community engagement in tackling societal problems like the housing crisis?

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