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Artist spending seven days in window to raise homelessness awareness

Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 6:07 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Inspiring change through art and through a window: Artist Nik Rye is raising awareness to the struggles of homelessness by looking through the glass.

The piece, called Seven Days a Diamond, features Rye living behind a window for the next week.

The project is a symbol for seven days Rye spent in jail following an arrest for being homeless and sleeping outside. She says the project is meant to humanize those who are struggling and, hopefully, to inspire others to help those in need.

As cars cruise down Gaines Street, Rye stands watching through a window into another life.

“There’s this criminalization of homelessness that happens everywhere in the United States, and in other countries too, where we just treat them like they’re not people<” she said.

The walls inside Rye’s project are painted with the words written in her diary following her seven days in jail.

“It was difficult to read it, it was difficult to write it on the wall, and it’s difficult to look at it right now,” she said. “But I think that’s part of what this is, almost reliving an experience so I can get past it.”

Raising awareness of the dehumanizing and the isolation many homeless people struggle with and trying to do something about it.

“We have hundreds of homeless in this community and it’s something that is difficult to help, to serve,” says Paul Rutkovsky, the owner and founder of The Plant, a community collective to create and help others.

It’s stocked with food, clothing and is a safe space for those who need it.

“We are here for our community. It’s more than the food, because I’m one of the artists that believe that life is art, art is life,” he said.

Rye says at the end of the day, what she hopes people will take away from her project, much like what The Plant itself stands for, is that we can feel empowered to help one another.

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