ShowzArt aka The Art Jedi: Elevating the Unsheltered Community in Skid Row
One of the most important purposes of art is to shed light on issues and people that may not always be in the spotlight. Artists spark conversations and are foundational pillars in many social justice movements. Showzart, the Art Jedi, is a muralist, community organizer, and resident of Skid Row. He works tirelessly to elevate the Skid Row unsheltered community.
In this episode, we hear more about Showz’s journey and how he came to be a prominent artistic voice in this L.A neighborhood. He shares how he went from keeping his art dream at arm’s length to trusting his universal calling and following his dreams.
“When people look at my artwork, a lot of people say, ‘Oh, you’re a Black artist. You’re a revolutionary artist,’ and that’s not what I am. I’m an artist. But for some reason, the times haven’t changed to where melanated people aren’t suppressed. So, my artwork is expressing the times. This is the time that never has stopped. I would love to paint roses. I would love to paint flowers. I'm paid to do that when I'm doing murals and stuff like that. But when it comes to just my artwork that I’m putting out, there’s a fire that needs to be put out. And if I don’t project it in my artwork, then people don’t know it exists.” — Showzart [0:19:54.0]
Showz understands his purpose as an artist; it is not about money or fame, but rather to be a conduit for so many important causes. We talk about the power of love and energy, the magic that comes when you follow your calling, and the joy in being aligned with your purpose. We also discuss homelessness and the importance of shifting our perceptions around unsheltered and unhoused people. It is so important for us to move away from a place of judgment to one of compassion and love for all of our neighbors. Showz is not only an incredible artist, but a phenomenal human being, and we are so proud that he is part of the Not Real Art Family.
“I think one major way that people can help is for us to decriminalize homelessness, stop making it shameful. Because no-one chooses it. No-one chooses to be on the street. No-one chooses to be outcast. If we would start calling people our neighbors instead of homeless, because everyone is our neighbor. God says, ‘Love Thy Neighbor,’ or the book says, ‘Love Thy Neighbor.’” — Showzart [0:49:34.0]
New Book By Katie Love
From Cult To Comedy, A Memoir, by Katie Love
The year is 1970. The horror soap opera “Dark Shadows” is all the rage, the Vietnam War is raging and nine-year-old Katie, an imaginative and independent latch-key kid, comes home from school to discover her mother’s suicide.
Taken in by her older sister who has recently become a Jehovah’s Witness, Katie is shown an illustration from a bible picture book featuring wild animals peacefully lounging by a pool of water, surrounded by happy people picking fruit. An enticing offer is made: “Katie, this is Paradise. Do you want to see Mom again, happy and living forever? All you have to do is follow all of Jehovah’s commandments and you can be with Mom again.”
Mom happy and living forever? Two tickets to Paradise, please!
So begins Katie’s zealous quest to attain perfection and entrance into a utopian world which promises peace, love, and happiness. She discovers a much darker world. “Two Tickets to Paradise, from Cult to Comedy” tells the hilarious and heartbreaking story of an earnest, bible-toting kid intent on saving the world, and follows her metamorphosis into a boisterous comedian intent on saving herself through the healing powers of humor.
Key Points From This ShowzArt Episode:
- Showz’s background and the work he currently does.
- Details about Showz’s new studio, which he has been wanting for years.
- Why it was so important for Showz to have a studio that was open to other artists.
- Showz’s connection to Skid Row and the niche he has carved in the community.
- How Showz’s idea of his art changed and led him to see his abilities differently.
- The sign Showz’s got that made him realize he needed to pursue his art dream.
- Why Showz does not see himself as a revolutionary artist.
- How Showz and Man One met and the doors that opened after this.
- A powerful story of how Showz realized the universe was using him for a greater purpose.
- We have to save ourselves and each other; we don’t necessarily need religion.
- Showz’s view of race and how he sees that aspect of himself and others.
- What Showz loves about this generation; the willingness to drop labels.
- What people need to know about homelessness and life on the street.
- It is so important to stop judging people who are homeless, it can happen to any of us.
- The lessons Showz is teaching his son about integrity and being a leader.
- Why we need to focus on purpose and stop getting distracted by false idols.
- What Showz is moved by; it’s not being recognized, but being aligned.
- How Showz continues to give back to his community.
- The growth that has happened during the pandemic and the strength so many of us have gained.
“Art really wasn’t a choice when I first got here. I came to Skid Row as a drug dealer. Art became a promise.” — Showzart [0:15:21.0]
“A lot of people find love through energy, and you don’t need a god or someone or a prophet to project what you have received.” — Showzart [0:33:21.0]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
- Showzart — https://www.showzart.com/
- Art At The Rendon — https://artattherendon.com/
- General Jeff — https://www.facebook.com/General-Jeff-106807136010057/
- Skid Row Housing Trust — https://skidrow.org/
- Man One — http://www.manone.com/
- Man One on Twitter — https://twitter.com/ManOneArt
- Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.instagram.com/sourdoughpower/
- Not Real Art — https://notrealart.com/
- Not Real Art School — https://school.notrealart.com/
- Not Real Art on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/notrealartworld/
“When I’m getting these murals, I’m hiring people from the streets to help me with the murals.” — Showzart [1:06:54.0]