Photo Credit: Faces of Santa Ana/Facebook
Generous artist and automotive designer Brian Peterson started a project painting portraits of the homeless with all of the proceeds going to directly aid their plight.
The project, “Faces of Santa Ana,” was begun after Peterson moved to Santa Ana, California just a few months ago and was startled by the large homeless population in the area, according to My Modern Met.
Peterson told the site in an email, “Something inside me was telling me to reach out to them.” He explained that as a spiritual man of Christian faith, he “believes in taking action through love, which involves stepping outside comfort zones and being present for all people.” He wrote: “This notion gave me the courage to both take action and befriend these people, and gave me the heart to put my talents to good use.”
In order to honor the experiences to the new friends he met who were living on the streets, Peterson picked up a paintbrush for the first time in seven years, giving a face to the homeless in the area, shedding light on their lives and individual stories.
Peterson, who asks the subject of each portrait to sign it at the bottom, also noted, “I believe their stories and testimony are just as integral to the success of the piece as my paint and brushstrokes.”
The completed works are displayed outside in downtown Santa Ana, with proceeds from sales of the works going toward the individual rehabilitation needs of each one of Peterson’s subjects. The artist adds: “The portraits that we feature are real people, with real stories, that need real help.”