ARTLIFTING PROVIDES BOSTON-AREA HOMELESS AND DISABLED ARTISTS
A MUCH-NEEDED OUTLET FOR SELLING THEIR WORK
by Brian Goslow
Who knew we’d be art dealers?”
That’s what ArtLifting co-founders (and brother and sister) Liz and Spencer Powers found themselves asking each other in January. They had just arrived at a Boston-area office building for their first attempt at selling art made by local homeless and disabled artists to a commercial property. “We were walking in loaded up with these pieces of artwork and both looked at each other and laughed,” Liz said. By the time their meeting was over, they had sold 18 pieces. It was a positive sign that Liz’s goal of creating a sales outlet for participants in the area’s art therapy programs was a good idea.
With a stated mission “to empower sick, disabled and homeless artists through the celebration and sale of their work,” the company has it roots in a thesis project by then-Harvard University student Liz, exploring the social benefits of art programs in the Boston and Toronto areas.
Upon graduation, she created similar art groups at Cambridge women’s shelters, and upon learning that there were many art therapy programs in the Boston area, she realized that an outlet for the participating artists to sell their work was missing. She partnered with eight local shelters in creating City Heart, a now-annual art show and sale that began in 2011; brother Spencer, a Boston College economics grad, joined the organization to help with its finances and business logistics.