Sudbury·Up North

Cambrian photo exhibit puts different lens on homelessness

The Graphic Design program at Cambrian College is trying to raise awareness about the number of people in Sudbury who are homeless.

Students opened an art show Thursday called aboutface.2 at the college's Open Studio on Cedar Street

Cambrian College's aboutface.2 Exhibit looks to put a human face on the statistics around homelessness.

The Graphic Design program at Cambrian College is trying to raise awareness about the number of people in Sudbury who are homeless. 

The students opened an art show Thursday called aboutface.2 at the college's Open Studio on Cedar Street.

It's the second year the department has used photography to illustrate the issue of homelessness in the city. This year the students aimed to to humanize the statistics.

Third-year student Brittany Smith said the project helped remind her that everyone has a life they are trying to live.

Graphic Design Program Head Ron Beltrame at the .aboutface.2 exhibit at the Open Studio on Cedar Street. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

"I definitely underestimated the people,"  "I would just walk by and wouldn't care about them. To see that they have a life and there are so many of them in Sudbury, it really opened my eyes to it."

It's believed there are about 600 people in Sudbury who are homeless.

The project is a departure from the other kinds of work students do in the graphic design program, said Graphic Design Program Head RoRon Beltrame.

"I think we spend a lot of time teaching design skills that are marketable for the economy, for profit, for business and so on," he said.

"But the skills that are used to create profit in the economy are also skills that can be used to change public debate and influence public thought."

The students photographed some of the same people as last year, Beltrame said.

"Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say their circumstances haven't improved. When you think about the situation, not much has changed in society since last year, so there's no real reason for their situation to have gotten better," he said.

"We continue to talk about the issue but we don't do a whole heck of a lot."

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