Smiling Ray G, by a Room in the Inn patron (courtesy of Bryce McCloud)
I see [making] portraits as a way to say hello to one another,” says Bryce McCloud, artist-in-residence at Room in the Inn in Nashville, Tennessee, and leader of the city’s arts project “Our Town.” (The project and his residency are sponsored by the Thomas P. Seigenthaler Fund for Creativity.) McCloud’s work with the homeless community—and the larger Nashville community—is a way of introducing neighbor to neighbor. “Art can bridge the gap between class, culture and condition in life. It has the power to bring us together. . . . We begin to see that no man or woman is truly a stranger.” The workshop participants used paints, ink stamps, charcoal, cut paper, fingerprints, brushes. Then the images were translated to letterpress prints in McCloud’s shop Isle of Printing.