Path With Art students made 16 posters for their Home Shows partner project, and Aaron’s design ☝️ was one of two that Pearl Jam picked for a limited-edition run.
Aaron, who’s 44, lived without a home in Seattle for 10 years before mid-May. That’s when his name came up on a waitlist for housing with the Seattle Housing Authority and he moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Belltown. “I’ve slept all over the place,” he told us. And he’s felt the city change around him in a pretty powerful way…
The construction crane is a pretty powerful presence in your poster. Tell us about that.
Right after I’d drawn the crane, I saw a story from The Seattle Times that Seattle is in its third year in a row with more construction cranes than any city in the United States. I was like, oh, it’s perfect. I wanted to kinda be subtle about it, that there’s all this money and wealth being poured in these construction projects but then there’s people on the streets being neglected. The homeless people never seem to see that money.
In your artist statement, you talked about that dichotomy between our city’s wealth and how so many people can’t access it, and you mentioned someone you’d seen “crawl along sidewalks on Capitol Hill shoeless while residents walk by.”
That comment comes from a guy up at Rite Aid by Capitol Hill. He was literally crawling on the sidewalk. Socks half on, no shoes. People would just walk by, wouldn’t look at him, and I was like, man. It’s just bizarre to me that this happens.
What do you think keeps us from offering help?
I think everyone’s kind of overwhelmed by everything that’s going on. They don’t know what to do. Plus there’s fear. Fear of the unknown. I remember when I was really at a low point a few years ago. People just ignore you and stuff. And then somebody reached out to me and said, “Hey, how are you doing?” And so I always make a point to do that with people.
They have to go through all this crap. Figure out how you’re gonna do laundry, that’ll take four or five hours one day. Then you gotta run to food bank — that’ll take another four hours. I’ve never been more busy than just being homeless. If you just interact with somebody in a friendly way, just acknowledge them, that can improve someone’s day, you know?
Want to see Aaron’s poster up close? It’ll be on display — along with 15 other Home Show student posters — at the Path With Art gallery space in Pioneer Square from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today and on August 8 and August 10. The posters are not currently for sale, but you can sign up for a poster giveaway at one of the exhibition openings, or get on Path With Art’s mailing list for updates.