San Diego Art Exhibit Features Portraits of Homeless

Now through April 10, 2016, the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park is featuring a solo art exhibition by local artist, Neil Shigley. Shigley’s series, “Invisible People, Invisible Structures” features portraits of San Diego homeless and their living conditions. Shigley, by presenting both portraits and architectural representations together, provides the viewer with an immersive look into the life of a homeless person. As homelessness continues to become more prevalent in California, as well as the United States, all levels of government need to institute creative solutions to mitigate this serious issue. When a person becomes homeless, their existence transcends into the criminal. There is no place where their presence is welcome. On private property, they are trespassing, on public property they are loitering, leaving constant movement one of the few non-criminal states left to them. Recent 9th Circut Court of Appeals decisions found Los Angeles ordinances, attempting to handle their ballooning homeless population, unconstitutional. From preventing homeless from living in their cars or laying horizontally in public spaces, to destroying items left temporarily on public sidewalks, Los Angeles attempted to criminalize homelessness. These ordinances, and other like them, create unnecessary hurdles for people who struggle with homelessness. Imposing criminal sanctions on this population makes transitioning back into permanent housing even more difficult. Visit for more information on Neil Shigley’s exhibition.

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One thought on “San Diego Art Exhibit Features Portraits of Homeless

  1. I honestly think that it is quite sad and frustrating to see that the number of houseless individuals has increased from the time of this art exhibition and article. As someone who currently volunteers to provide some of the basic necessities for those around San Diego who need it, I can see all the ordinances that are trying to be put in place for the city to further criminalize being houseless. Yet, nothing is really being done to combat the reasons why so many end up houseless or provide resources. If you are able to actually have a conversation with any houseless individual, they will tell you they just want to be seen and heard.

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