Art meets activism at Venice Family Clinic Art Walk + Auction 

May 14, 2024

Lorraine Bubar, Drive By, 2017, cut paper collage on paper

Moved by a rising awareness of social issues in her community, local artist Lorraine Bubar knew it was time for a change. “I realized my art needed to stand for something,” Bubar explains.

Bubar’s passion found an immediate outlet right outside her front door. “I’m a runner,” Bubar shares, “You step outside and you’re immediately struck by how beautiful Venice is.” However, beauty wasn’t the only thing Bubar noticed on her runs. “I also saw how almost everyone treated people experiencing homelessness as if they were invisible. I couldn’t stand seeing how they were ignored.”

Driven to action

After years of contributing work to Venice Family Clinic Art Walk + Auction, Bubar decided this year to share artwork directly connected to the Clinic’s mission. During her tour of the newly renovated Chuck Lorre Rose Avenue Health and Wellness Center, Bubar was moved by the extensive and impactful services the Clinic offers to people experiencing homelessness. Her cut-paper piece, “Drive By,” explores the relationship between a neighborhood rich with natural beauty and festivity and the challenges facing the people experiencing homelessness residing there.

The impact of empathy

Evonne Biggs, program manager for homeless services and health equity at Venice Family Clinic, has been instrumental in shaping the services that inspired Bubar.  “Treating people with compassion and empathy is vital when addressing the needs of those who are oftentimes overlooked,” says Biggs, who was honored in 2023 for her work in street medicine and mobile outreach by the Los Angeles Civil and Human Rights and Equity Department. Our nationally recognized homeless services program includes 13 clinicians who deliver comprehensive care at our clinics, in the field and at access centers to ensure that people experiencing homelessness receive the services they need. Beyond primary care, our multidisciplinary outreach teams provide screenings for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, substance use and domestic violence. We also offer psychiatric consultations, individual and group counseling, case management support and mobile mammography.

Rooted in an understanding that respect is a fundamental component of comprehensive care, Biggs appreciates that the Clinic’s outreach is carried out with a holistic approach in mind. “The act of intentionally and empathetically seeing a person in the fullness of who they are helps to build trust,” shares Biggs. “And when people trust us, they can also accept help from us – a critical foundation for empowering them to make decisions that can improve their health and well-being.”

This approach speaks to Bubar. “They help people with empathy and humanity, and give people back their dignity,” she says. “That the Clinic provides medical care, behavioral support and more in a kind, safe space – whether inside their clinics or out in the community – is important, necessary work.”

Finding direction through donation 

Bubar understands it can be overwhelming to approach activism when there are so many pressing concerns. “I think a lot of us struggle with how to make an impact as individuals,” shares Bubar. “Which is why I feel lucky to be able to participate in Venice Art Walk.” Bubar feels empowered knowing her work will help raise funds to support the Clinic’s programs. “It’s thrilling to know that my work is helping. I want to support the staff and the patients any way I can.”

For more information, visit Venice Art Walk Gallery and the online auction at Bonhams are open until May 19.