Searching for the perfect gift for your stylish friend or family member that is beautiful, yet also meaningful? This year, consider the gift of art. But not art from just anywhere: Consider purchasing art from ArtLifting.
ArtLifting is an organization and online shop that empowers artists living with homelessness or disabilities by offering them the chance to secure their own income through the sale of original paintings, prints, and products. All the artists earn 55% of each sale.
"Before we existed, our artists would try to sell their original artwork one at a time on a street corner. They could maybe sell a piece for around $40. Now, artists have made as much as $13,000 from the sale of a single original piece. And the beauty of what we are doing is that we are providing artists the opportunity for artists to make endless money off the sale of prints and products," says Liz Powers, founder of ArtLifting.
ArtLifting currently boasts 98 artists in 16 states, in US cities like Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, New Orleans, Nashville and more. Artists have been able to sell their art to customers in countries across the world, ranging from Australia to Germany to Singapore.
Liz Powers and her brother Spencer Powers founded ArtLifting in November of 2013 with just four Boston artists. But Liz's interest in empowering people through art started at the age of 18, when she secured a grant from Harvard to create art groups in homeless shelters.
"This invisible talent needed to become visible."
From the ArtLifting website:
"Liz was immediately struck by the incredible talent that she saw. Amazing works of art were being produced only to end up forgotten in the closets and basements of shelters. After observing that the same problem existed at thousands of art programs across the country, Liz became committed to helping share their creations with the world. She realized that art could be a transformational path to financial stability for these artists and countless others nationwide; they just needed a digital marketplace to connect with a larger audience. This invisible talent needed to become visible."
"Art is what I do, opposed to taking a drink. Art is what I do, opposed to getting high. The process of starting with a blank canvas and watching it evolve brings me joy. Art makes me feel like I have purpose and that I am not worthless in this world."— Kimberly Williams, Washington, D.C. based artist.
Like the idea but not sure what to get?
Liz shared some tips and popular artists to get you started:
Go for a gift card:
One thing that's very popular is our gift card because recipients also get the gift of browsing artwork and choosing their favorite piece!
Check out these artists:
Artist Alicia Beach is very popular. Allen Chamberland has crazy detailed cut-outs, done with an X-acto knife and a sheet of paper. Susan Brandner is currently homeless and has fun abstract artwork, too. Shannon's "Four Horses" piece is a sophisticated black and white piece, perfect for both men and women.
We also have merchandise like totes or phone cases, for those people who aren't in the market for artwork but want to support the mission.