I’m happy to post the finished painting “Hope is Home.” I have been working on this painting the last few months for a very worthy cause. Those of you that have been following my blog have seen a few works in progress. I was absolutely shocked to learn that Orlando is considered by UNICEF to be one of the major hubs for human trafficking in the world! Not only is this shocking, it is very upsetting that this is happening in my own community. Hope City Orlando is a non-profit that seeks to help victims who find themselves in this awful plight. Their goal is to build a home that will be a safe haven and provide a three-year program for a healthy reintegration into mainstream life. Through a combination of efforts including counseling, social work, legal assistance, social and personal skills training, victims will become survivors!
I was approached by some friends who are part of Hope City Orlando and are planning the fund-raising gala taking place this fall. They asked if I could do a painting that would be auctioned off to raise funds at the event. I really believe in what they are trying to accomplish for victims of this awful situation and couldn’t say no. As a mother, it is unfathomable to think that young people are taken against their will, removed from their life and society and forced into sex or domestic slavery.
Once I agreed to do the painting it presented a design challenge. I wanted the painting to mean something and to have a relationship with Hope City Orlando and not be dark and foreboding. I really thought a lot about the imagery I would use and the meaning behind it, which I wanted to reflect the goals that Hope City Orlando has for the future they will provide for those caught in this heinous situation of human trafficking.
Their logo is the silhouette of a house with a vine traversing through it. I thought about the symbolic meaning of the vine and felt that it represented, being rooted or grounded in a safe home, transcending into a better way of life. Therefore, vines became a main element in my painting. Vines can be very tenacious and I felt they also symbolized growth and new opportunities and the flowers on the vine in the painting symbolize the brighter future for those that get help.
The doves represent freedom. Which is what Hope City will be giving the victims of human trafficking. Not only freedom, but the tools that are needed to reintegrate and live life where they are not trapped by others and doing things against their will.
The silhouette of the houseshape in the painting, holds everything together and represents hope and the solution to the endless spiral of futility one feels when caught in this situation. Home is a safe haven, and I feel is the first step in providing a better way of life. One must feel a sense of security and safety and that is what a home provides for us and is what Hope City will provide for victims of human trafficking. This is why I titled the painting “Hope is Home.”
If you would like to know more or help this worthy cause visit their web site by clicking here and their Facebook page by clicking here. The gala is scheduled for the first week of October and will be in the Orlando area.