Interfaith Sanctuary’s art collective is a group of unhoused artists and makers who gather at a space in our shelter to create together. The collective was founded in 2019 in collaboration with guests at Interfaith who wanted to use art to reduce the stigma attached to living unhoused in our community. The collective took a pause in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be reconvening in late 2021.
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Meet the Artists
Chris Alvarez is an artist in residence at Interfaith Sanctuary. His primary mediums are painting and drawing. Alvarez grew up in San Diego, where graffiti sparked his lifelong interest in fine art. “Graffiti was like looking at a maze with the colors and the lines all over the place, and there was just something strange about it. I thought the bubble and the block letters were fascinating,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez taught himself how to tattoo while incarcerated and has since transitioned to working with a machine. He’s currently looking for a tattoo apprenticeship to expand his skillset and portfolio. Alvarez is deeply interested in the technical aspects of drawing and painting and is known within the shelter community for his uncannily accurate portraits.
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Geoffrey McCauley is a resident artist, musician, and founder of the art collective. He’s a Louisiana native who has lived in Boise, Idaho for the past four years. McCauley has been creating his entire life. “If I wasn’t drawing on paper, I was drawing in the dirt,” he said.
McCauley paints in various mediums and enjoys watching others create, as it inspires him as well. He feels that spreading the love of creativity helps erase the stigmas surrounding homelessness. He paints in acrylic, latex, and oil but tends to use tools that feel natural versus brushes and markers. McCauley is interested in abstract and floral art. He starts by painting abstract backgrounds, then studies photos and takes walks to look at flowers in each stage of their lifecycle before he completes a piece.