By Rebecca Heath
In an effort to engage and enrich children and families living in under-resourced Mercer County communities, HomeFront recently unveiled “Artie the ArtSpace Mobile.”
HomeFront’s ArtSpace fosters a safe environment for individuals who have experienced homelessness to express creativity, according to the organization’s website.
The nonprofit, which is based in Ewing and managed by Ruthann Traylor, facilitates therapeutic art programs and seeks to empower clients by offering a number of opportunities throughout the year to showcase their skills.
ArtSpace’s new mobile initiative was developed to educate potential clients about the organization’s programs and support services. Chock-full of supplies and clients’ artwork, the vibrant truck will also host hands-on activities for children while serving as a pop-up shop to benefit HomeFront artists.
The journey of bringing Artie to life involved collaborative efforts, said Traylor, who worked alongside local graphic designers Barbara DiLorenzo and Kim Moulder, in addition to Leigh Visual Imaging, to make her vision a reality.
“The process for creating Artie was brewing for a few years,” Traylor said. “Once we received the grant and the truck was donated we worked with a few local designers to help us create our vision.”
The innovative art truck currently partners with community-minded businesses to collect art supplies, and hosts company team-building workshops as part of ArtSpace’s corporate engagement efforts.
Artie is also slated to travel to HomeFront properties and motels to serve families experiencing homelessness, in addition to arts and music festivals, community events, summer camps, craft fairs, schools, day care centers and after-school programs for disadvantaged youth, according to the organization’s website.