TORCH, a local nonprofit that works with homeless families and low-income people, hosted its second annual art show during National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week from November 17-23.
Anderson County art students (grades seven-12) were invited to submit PIT Poster Contest entries, while younger students (grades kindergarten-six) were invited to submit illustrations for a children’s book, “The Home for Carley.”
The PIT Count is an annual, nationally mandated count of the homeless by county over a 24-hour period in the month of January. TORCH directs the PIT Count for Anderson County each year.
The winning poster from the contest will be used to provide needed information for the count. Last year’s winner of the PIT Poster contest was Katie Roach, an eighth-grade art student of Jim Dodson at Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge. TORCH received four entries this year: three students of Jefferson Middle School and one 12th-grader from Oak Ridge High School. The winner will be announced in mid-December.
Elementary school art teachers were given the children’s story and asked to read the story to the students. The students then illustrated sections of the story that made an impression on them. The story, written by TORCH founder and board chair Sheila Michel, follows a mother and dog as they experience homelessness and go on to move into a permanent home. The book features 25 illustrations of students of Sarah Cochran at Willow Brook Elementary School, Tristy Berryhill at Linden Elementary, Mary Katherine Chin at Woodland Elementary, and Cathy Lowden at St. Mary’s Catholic School.
“The students truly understood the challenges facing those without a home,” Michel said. “It was very difficult to choose the illustrations for the book because every illustration submitted was incredible.”
TORCH hosted a reception honoring the artists and their instructors at the TORCH facility in Trinity Center at 320 Robertysville Road in Oak Ridge on Sunday, November 23.
TORCH (Trinity Out-Reach Center of Hope) works with homeless families and low-income people to help them get permanent supportive housing, and it provides supportive services to low-income people.
The book is available to buy. Contact Michel at (865) 310-0130.
Here are few more pictures submitted by Michel: