Brother and sister duo Spencer and Liz Powers recently launched ArtLifting, which sells artwork created by disabled and homeless artists who are enrolled in art therapy programs. They are launching the site with the work of four artists who participate in Common Art, an art therapy program in Boston for homeless and low-income residents.
The items for sale include original paintings, iPhone cases, and prints. Here’s a look at some of the art that’s for sale on artlifting.com.
Pictured from left: ArtLifting co-founder Spencer Powers, artists Dante Gandini and Allen Chamberland, and Liz Powers.
Dante Gandini, 58, said his mother took him to a museum art program in Connecticut when he was 6 years old. He calls himself a “starving artist,’’ and likes to paint on the streets, where he draws his inspiration. He mainly works in acrylics.
“I would rather do what I love than be a wage slave,’’ Gandini said.
Gandini said he has painted the twin lighthouses on Thacher Island from several locations, including Good Harbor Beach, Pebble Beach, and Long Beach.
“I find so much inspiration up there,’’ said Gandini, who is a former Rockport resident.
Cost: Prints from $49 / Original is $239.
Gandini said he painted this image of Acorn Street while he was living in Beacon Hill.
Blue Moon over Back Bay
Cost: Prints from $44 / Original is $545.
Gandini said he came upon this scene while visiting with another street artist on Newbury Street.
“I went over there and was visting with him and I saw that scene and I basically sketched it out and started painting it there,’’ he said.
Gandini said this is one of the first paintings he did in Boston.
Nicholson, 45, is an abstract-expressionist artist. He said he started painting 18 months ago and created his first work at St. Francis House, a day shelter in downtown Boston.
Nicholson, a Waltham resident, talks freely about having bipolar disorder and experiencing abuse as a child.
“The first paintings that came out of me were a lot of dark emotions and memories of abuse that were more healing for me than I would say aesthetically pleasing,’’ Nicholson said.
Cost: Print is $44 / Mounted canvas is $114. The original has sold.
Nicholson said he threw the paint onto the canvas with as much force as he could muster.
“It was such a physical act,’’ Nicholson said. “Kind of like punching a punching bag.’’
Mixed Feelings iPhone case
The art on this iPhone case replicates an acrylic painting by Nicholson. Prints of the piece start at $39. The original artwork is $355.
“That’s basically bipolar disorder,’’ Nicholson said.
Cost: Print is $44 / Mounted canvas is $114. The original artwork sold.
“’uNine Rainbows’ is just a celebration of art,’’ Nicholson said. “I had realized that art has given me a lot. Those colors are just beautifual colors and it was just a celebration of color.’’
While Nicholson said his abstract paintings “really have my heart and soul in them,’’ he has also done realist work.
This lighthouse is located in Boston Harbor. “That’s a symbol of hope,’’ he said.
“I was feeling kind of depressed,’’ Nicholson said. “It’s expressive of depression.’’
Nicholson said he got the idea to paint Faneuil Hall when President Obama gave a speech there a few months back.
He said Faneuil Hall has a “little dark history’’ because its namesake, Peter Faneuil, made his fortune as a slave trader.
“It’s basically there because of the money that Peter Faneuil made in the slave trade and then gave to the city of Boston,’’ Nicholson said. “It’s kind of an ironic thing for me.’’
Chamberland, 48, said he uses a paper-cutting technique to create images of Boston landmarks like the Zakim Bridge and Christian Science Church.
Chamberland, who lives in the South End, has been going to Common Art for about a year and a half.
He said he uses the money he earns from art sales to buy art supplies.
“I love the Zakim,’’ Chamberland said. “I just like the way it looks.’’
Chamberland said this piece was one of the first large projects he ever undertook. The original measures 12½ inches by 18 inches.
“When I started I had no idea how it was going to come out,’’ Chamberland said. “I don’t know what it’s going to look like until I actually start cutting it out.’’
Cost: Prints starting from $54.
Original work is $345. It is also available in an iPhone cover for $34.
A tree in a park near Chamberland’s apartment served as the inspiration for this piece.
“I love trees,’’ he said. “Just going around the city you see trees in different shapes and forms. It depends on how they’ve been pruned over the years.’’
Cost: Prints from $49 / Original is $169.
The USS Constitution in Charlestown was the inspiration for this piece, Chamberland said. He also created another work depicting the mast of Old Ironsides.
Chamberland said he was drawn to the geometric shapes.
“I like the challenge of making the rope look like rope instead of a straight line,’’ he said.
Cost: Prints from $49 / Original is $169.
This is the other piece inspired by the USS Constitution.
It took Chamberland a week to create this piece.
“It’s just so big and complicated. Each spot of white has been cut,’’ he said. “I like to challenge myself.’’
Katie Hickey Schultz
Schultz said she’s been painting since she “popped out of the womb.’’
“It’s always been a compulsion since I could hold something,’’ she said.
Schultz works with acrylic, watercolor, and colored pencil. She said she wasn’t always a fan of watercolors, but started to use them because they are inexpensive and easy to carry.
“I was an arch enemy of watercolor,’’ Schultz said.
She said people who she met while selling greeting cards featuring her artwork in Copley Square suggested she use watercolors as a base and then put the pastels on top of it.
Cost: Print is $49 / Mounted canvas is $94.
“It’s a face expanding and exploding with … emotion. Insanity, I guess,’’ Schultz said.
Eternal Quiet Desperation
Cost: Print is $44 / Mounted canvas is $114.
The original acrylic painting has sold.
Schultz said the turtle in this painting is a device she uses to represent time and eternity. Turtle shells have 13 plates on their back, which correspond to the 13 cycles of the moon, she said. For that reason, some indigenous cultures believe turtles carry time, Schultz said.
The skeletal-like figures represent the past, present, and future, she said.
Schultz was also inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s quote: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.’’
Despite that, Schultz said she is not a Thoreau fan.
“I think it’s sort of self explanatory,’’ Schultz said.
Cost: Print is 44. Canvas is $89. Original is $119.
Schultz said the painting depicts a toad in the sunshine.
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