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Internationally Recognized Muralist Adds Art to Action

The large-scale public artwork that will grace the full two-story front of CFH’s new facility is underway. Guido van Helten – an internationally acclaimed Australian artist known worldwide for his large-scale murals and contemporary street art – arrived in Bellevue just days ago to begin painting. But the vision for the mural began long before Guido put brush to paint.

JPL-A+BLOCK architects – the CFH design team for the new facility – collaborated with CFH for months to select an artist whose aesthetic connected with the CFH mission, “The idea for both the architecture and the mural was to highlight the men, not distract from or take away from them. We are not interested in diluting or hiding the issue of homelessness; rather, we want to bring the community in and show everyone how wonderful these guys are.”

This project would not be possible without the generosity of our donors. We are humbled by the outpouring of support and the commitment to see this beautiful art become part of our community. You can read more about the process of selecting Guido van Helton and the vision behind the project in our press release.

From June 4 to June 9, 2023, van Helten engaged with CFH’s clients and staff, capturing images that would inspire the mural’s design. Even though the mural includes a portrait of two men, it is not intended to emphasize individual identification. The design aims to spotlight the “harmony and humanization of CFH residents in a depiction of both the beauty of a natural environment and the warmth of comradery, friendship, and compassion,” along with the bonds, wisdom, and guidance from the elders to the younger men.    

Van Helten said he found inspiration for the mural through casual conversation with CFH clients, observation, and direct engagement. Van Helten said, “I was able to experience some of the day-to-day life at the Center from a resident point of view.” 

The mural, expected to be finished in July, will greet CFH clients, employees, volunteers, and the larger community as they enter. It will also be visible from the main highway because of its south entry location.

To learn more about CFH’s partnership with van Helten, visit https://porchlightcares.org/shelterreimaginedpressreleases/.

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