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MaryLou Uttermohlen

Artist Statement Submitted 2017

“Structure Out of Chaos: Shantytowns of America's Homeless,” is a paradox. These are portraits of the homeless in their homes. The camps get sweeps by authorities that discard their belongings and force people to start over. The cycle is endless.

Today’s shantytowns have less to do with poverty and more to do with our social ills. For example, our national mental healthcare system lost funding and patients are left to care for themselves. Many end up living on the streets self-medicating with street drugs.

Cities seem to think the quickest way to resolve this problem is to pass laws against it. Only homelessness is not a crime and laws that criminalize them take away their civil rights as it fills our jails with people who need doctors.

The intent is open a dialogue about chronic homelessness. As we shift our awareness we can transform from criminalizing people to addressing the issues.

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