In 2008 I had the great pleasure of finding this image on Flickr.
I contacted CARF (Gregory J. Smith) who took the original photo and he was nice enough to let me paint the image. I fell in love with the sweet yet sad look in the young mans eyes. His name is Jason.
About Jason from the Children at Risk Foundation CARF in Brazil:
…or not to be…………….
Jason often dreams and plays the clown. Being quite the natural-born circus artist he is, he’s been doing so for quite some time now at Hummingbird. If he makes the effort and takes the right decisions he could have a great future practising the art. After almost three years as my fosterson due to a history on the streets and in juvenile detention centre, he has now moved back home to his mother. I hope for his own sake that he has taken the right decision……………………”
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More info on CARF from their Flickr Site:
CARF on Flickr for more information and to see some amazing photos
CARF Brazil was established by Gregory J. Smith in São Paulo, in 1993. Gregory had already established The Children At Risk Foundation – CARF Norway in 1992, determined to benefit the street children of Brazil by defending their rights and offering them a dignified and definitive solution so that they could live and grow within a family-oriented context and healthy social environment.
In the initial years, Gregory gained valuable practical experience by living with the children on the streets and motivating them to leave such a negative and self-destructive environment, offering them an alternative home and lifestyle on a smallholding in the urban periphery of Diadema – SP.
During the last decade, the experience gained guided the organisation to create its Street Migration Prevention Programme to prevent vulnerable children and young people at risk from running away from their homes to live on the streets, developing this together with at-risk community children and abandoned street children in the process of leaving the streets. The essence of the work lies in the interest taken in and the knowledge of the personal situation of each child or young person, from the very first moment he or she becomes involved with our organisation.
Due to the success of this programme, CARF was forced to seek new solutions to cope with growing demands and in 2001 the Hummingbird Arts & Cultural Activity Centre became a reality. This allowed the organisation to expand its capacity from 80 children and young people to more than 600 attended in 2004. Due to our partnership with local municipal schools in 2007 the number of children attended by our programme topped a 1.000. This year (2008) the organisation will be reaching out to neighbouring communities with the implementation of smaller nuclei to attend the needs of more children in underprivileged favela communities.
CARF’s Street Migration Prevention Program is aimed at helping former street children and other at-risk community children in São Paulo, creating pathways of opportunity and a more dignified life. Most of our target population come from one of the most deprived and violent areas in the entire state of São Paulo, in situations of extreme poverty and social vulnerability. Many have special needs and require closer attention due to their unstructured family situation, which in some cases causes total neglect.
In addition, the centre supports the demands of our rehabilitation programme, serving the needs of already rescued street children or those coming off the streets
The programmes of The Hummingbird Activity Centre are primarily preventive in nature and promote the confidence, character, competence, and “connectedness” of that population to their family, peers, and community. They provide a range of support and services in such areas as vocational training, health education, recreation, cultural understanding – tolerance and expansion, racial reconciliation, artistic expression, environmental awareness, and the development of youth leadership involving conflict resolution and decision-making skills.
The main Programmes carried out at present at the Hummingbird Activity Centre can be divided into three main groups:
These promote corporal skills, spacial and bodily awareness, integration, team work, concentration, discipline and help cultivate a competitive spirit, all concepts that are essential for social interaction, living together and personal health care.
Artistic and Cultural Development:
These cater for the cultural, artistic and aesthetic qualities of life with an emphasis on development of the creative potential, awakening skills and talents that, when used with free expression, can become useful instruments of self-development, communication and training.
These allow training through constructive and interactive work, awakening vocations and talents through guidance and access to specialist spheres, dynamics and techniques as well as encouraging the use of professional equipment and material.
The stated aim of the Hummingbird Street Migration Prevention Programme, to work for social inclusion without discrimination and its recognised competence in carrying out projects, is the distinguishing feature of our work on social intervention. Through the serious commitment and dedication with which we carry out our work, and the good results we have had in cooperative projects with other agencies, the partnerships and dialogues with CARF as an external agent for cooperative ventures has grown and strengthened.
We realise that unfortunately we do not have the capacity to help all those who come to us. We regret this even more when we converse with these children and see their eagerness, hope and need to take part in our programme, to dedicate their time to constructive activity and to find a different direction from that of self-destruction taken by so many others before.
All we can do is to take on as much as possible in order to transform in a positive way the lives of these children and young people. We know that we have succeeded and this gives us the strength to carry on with our work despite the limitations and challenges that occur every day.
Our VISION is to become a referential solution, not only for street children, but also for any other child at risk in Brazil or elsewhere in the world, but to do that we also depend on your help. Please visit our WeBlog ChildrenAtRisk-STREETKIDS for more details and updates on our work in Brazil.
Acrylic on canvas 24 X 36 Original for sale $1123.00 (USA) + Shipping
Here is the painting progression…
I pay 25% of all proceeds from the sale of any of my clown artwork to the clown. I have painted a few of the CARF images with permission and will make a donation to the organization if any of the prints are sold or if the original sells.
However, if this one sells… I will miss it. This one has a special place in my heart. I have stared into those eyes to many times….
Click here for Jason the Clown Gifts…
Until next time. Happy Clowning!
Patty Sue O’Hair – Vicknair Clown artist to the world
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Copyright on all images of this painting and the painting itself belong to the artist PSOVART Patty Sue O’Hair – Vicknair 2015