I am a portrait artist here in Memphis and a mentor at Streets Ministries, an organization dedicated to serving impoverished youth. When Jasmine, my 13-year-old-mentee, visited my studio to sit for her own painting, her face lit up when she saw the finished product ... and so have the faces of the many Streets Ministries kids I have painted since.
My goal is simple: to capture their personality, honor their life and affirm their worth.
I want them to see that their lives have value. It’s not based on how others see them, or where they come from, but they are worthy of being the subjects of art. I want to communicate to them that they are unconditionally loved and valued.