Artist captures spirit of hope in new paintings of homeless shelter

Artist Rebecca Moczulewski recently completed a series of 12 water color paintings after witnessing the lives and experiences of homeless Milwaukeeans at Repairers of the Breach daytime resource center for the homeless located at 1335 W. Vliet St. Reproductions of the paintings are on display at St. Johns on the Lake where a reception will be held later today.
“I was so thrilled to have this opportunity,” said Maczulewski, a development coordinator at Set Ministry, Inc., “I’m so blessed to be able to spend that amount of time on something I love doing for an organization that I love even more. What I’ve taken away from the experience is really a special gift.”
Moczulewski first visited Repairers on a trip with her church, she said. It wasn’t until a few years later that the idea for the pieces came about, she said.
“I often try to find out where people’s passions lie when they ask to help at the shelter,” said MacCanon Brown, executive director of Repairers of the Breach. “I knew Rebecca was a very talented artist and so I encouraged her to do something with art.”
The pieces were originally designed to be a 12 panel fence art series, but the organization has since decided to showcase the reproductions and have also printed them in a calendar.
Any proceeds garnered from the paintings or the calendars go directly to Repairers of the Breach.
“Rebecca has generously offered to have any of the proceeds go to the center,” she said. “We hope to have a traveling display go throughout the community so people can participate in our message of hope.”
Moczulewski was an art student at UW-Milwaukee and has taught art classes throughout Milwaukee Public School district and West Allis/West Milwaukee school district in the past. She has never undertaken a project of this size.
“It was really great experience,” Moczulewski said. “I hadn’t really done a water color project to this scale, but I was excited about the opportunity. I was previously only able to do one painting a summer. This was truly an opportunity I waited for.”
She finished the paintings in a little over a year and a half, she said.
Repairers has already scheduled several exhibit dates , but is seeking other space in the community. The gallery, Homeless not Hopeless, will be on display at St. John’s on the Lake through March.
The paintings were done using photograph compilations taken by Rebecca. She captured individuals in the community garden, individuals at the clinic and other gatherings at the center.
An opening reception will be held today from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Uihlein Peters Gallery at St. John;s on the Lake, 1840 N. Prospect Ave. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Maczulewski and see the paintings.

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