“I was ready to quit. I was having a really hard time. Carly (Caraway, Resource Room Director) has been a big help. She talked to me and told me that I remind her of herself a lot. We both had our babies at the same age. She reassured me that I wasn’t the only one going through the hard stuff and I could get through it. (As a graduate of the alley’s house program herself) She is living proof that this program works. Her taking the time to listen and really hear me made me feel encouraged and made all the difference for me.”
How it started
Shanterrica is a young mother of a beautiful 19 month old girl. After having her daughter she had dropped out of school, was without resources and was making very little progress for a successful future. When asked about why she started the alley’s house program she explained that both her grannie and her mother had children as teenagers and both decided to drop out of school. She knew that her mother struggled and scurried to provide for her as a young mom. She decided she wanted a better life for herself and her daughter and sought out alley’s house.
Ideas for the future
“alley’s house has helped me put together a plan for my life and to set goals,” she explained with a smile. She recently completed the Career Planning Assessment, Career Profile and Career Coaching with the Executive Director, Allison Whitehead. She was able to discover different career paths that are complimentary to her personality and skills through the Assessment and Profile process. While meeting with Allison, they were able to evaluate her results, her passions and her goals to formulate a plan and practical steps to take to progress her toward a career that is perfect for her.
Shanterrica is on track to complete and pass her GED Test next month and graduate the alley’s house program. She is considering attending El Centro Community College in the Fall with the intention of eventually becoming a Registered Nurse.
Nicole Rocco is a senior at the University of Texas at Arlington and is studying social work. For two semesters, through August, Nicole will be a social work intern at alley’s house.
Nicole discovered alley’s house while searching for an internship at school. She found three organizations that she was interested in interning with, but after further research she knew alley’s house was the right fit for her.
“The word ‘empowerment’ is all over the place, and I think that empowerment is what really makes a difference in a person’s life,” she said. “If you empower someone in a few situations, they learn to apply it to other areas of their life as well. Empowerment allows the girls to realize that they do not have to be dependent on anyone or anything but can instead be independent strong mothers.”
As a social work intern, Nicole has the opportunity to shadow alley’s house Executive Director Allison Whitehead during her daily casework meetings. As the semester progresses, she will gain more and more responsibility in the meetings.
“I also work one-on-one with the girls helping them set and accomplish their daily goals,” Nicole said. “If a client has a need, I can look into the community to find resources that might apply to their need or situation.”
Nicole has the opportunity to see many of the challenges that the moms face when they come to alley’s house.
“By coming to alley’s house they are really working towards a better life for themselves and for their children,” Nicole said. “They are often balancing school, work, and their children and frequently come in quite tired.”
She is impressed with the commitment and determination that the moms exhibit on a daily basis.
“Some girls come from far away and spend a great deal of time managing public transportation,” she said. “Despite all the challenges they have, they still get to alley’s house and achieve so much while they are here.”
So far the biggest challenge that Nicole has had to manage is getting accustomed to applying the knowledge learned in her classes to the real world situations that she is put in now.
“I just want to do the best that I can to help the girls achieve their goals,” Nicole said.
Pamela Rabin is a Dallas-based fine art artist and photographer who will be participating in Incrementum III, 9th Annual Art Auction benefitting alley’s house Saturday 2/2. She has been participating in the alley’s house art auction for over 6 years. This is her second year to be a live auction artist, painting a 36” x 48” painting.
Pamela’s art is greatly influenced by American abstract painters of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
“This year’s piece, ‘Swept Away’ represents movement and new beginnings, the ocean accepting all one’s flaws and one’s beauty simultaneously,” Pamela said. “The painting is inspired by the early impressionists with multiple layers of color and texture to create light.”
“Art can be a powerful statement without words. There are so many ways to explore different styles and raw emotion,” Pamela said. “I chose a sensory memory of the ocean as my muse. I cannot look at the ocean without a deep sigh, full of melancholy and my childhood past.”
Pamela is looking forward to attending Incrementum to see all the great works of art that are in store.
“This year’s art auction has so many talented artists,” she said. “There will be such great deals on original artwork. This will be the best year so far for Alleys House. I am honored to be part of the show.”
Come to Incrementum III, 9th Annual Art Auction benefitting alley’s house tonight, 2/2, at 7:00 pm at the Gallery at MIDTOWN! Click here to buy your tickets ahead of time.
Steve Hamilton is participating in Incrementum III, alley’s house 9th Annual Art Auction. This will be his second time in the show. Last year his painting was very well received in the silent auction. Steve is flattered to have been given the opportunity to showcase a larger painting in the live auction this year.
“I have done many charity type art shows, but the alley’s house art auction is a step above the rest,” Steve said. “Everyone involved is genuinely excited about the art, meeting the artists and raising money for a great cause.”
The care the artists have for alley’s house shows in the amazing quality of the art at Incrementum.
“The level and variety of work is outstanding,” Steve said. “There is a piece for everyone’s unique taste and it helps a great organization.”
This year, his title entitled “Every End is a Start…” depicts the passing of generations and all that encompasses.
“I focus on exploring the connection/disconnection and nostalgia with love ones in my portraiture,” Steve said.
Steve is looking forward to attending Incrementum and having the chance to see everyone’s art.
He says that Incrementum, “it is one of the most professional and genuine events I have ever had the privilege to participate in…and it’s a blast!”
Incrementum III is this Saturday 2/2 from 7:00pm – 11:00pm at the Gallery at MIDTOWN in Dallas, TX (located inside Valley View mall). Get your tickets today!
We are delighted to share that this year’s Incrementum III, 9th Annual Art Auction Benefitting alley’s house is featuring two live artist paintings. Anne Royer and Jim Rizzi will be painting two live art pieces at the auction.
Anne Royer has lived in McKinney for over 15 years. She is an artist, art teacher, lecturer and writer on art history. Anne holds a fine arts degree from Austin College and three Master’s Degrees from Yale University in Religion and Visual Arts, East Asian Studies and the History of Art. She currently teaches art history at the Heard-Craig Center for the Arts, Collin College in the Seniors Active in Learning program, and fine art in her studio and at the McKinney Art House. Her work is shown at the Galleries at Midtown (Dallas) and at Orisons Fine Art Gallery (McKinney), where she also works as a liaison between the artists and the gallery.
Anne’s art focuses on color and composition, and encompasses a broad range of subject matter. To that end, she began the Arts and Music Guild, a non-profit designed to mentor young artists and musicians, and bring the creative process to the community in meaningful ways.
Jim Rizzi, or better known as JMR, has adapted a unique mixture of neo-abstract expressionism with hints of contemporary pop to create a style all its own. Originally hailing from Brooklyn, New York, JMR has grown up with the influences of street art and the established art world constantly around him. Through his own individual, hybrid street style, he has dedicated himself to helping art fit into the outside world.
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“I appreciate the mission of alley’s house,” Abhidnya said. “I would like to help in the best way I can and that is to donate my talent in art.”
Abhidnya wants to show the symbiotic relationship between the individual and the community as they grow together.
“Growth has to begin from the inside,” she said. “The community can help from the outside. Healthy sustained growth happens when both participate in the process.”
Abhidnya decribles her artistic style as a mix of printmaking and collage art.
“I make wood blocks and print the information on paper and then attach them to canvas,” Abhidnya said.
Abhidnya suggests that people attend Incrementum III, “to help support a great cause by their presence and by purchasing art. Enjoy an evening with fellow sponsors and supporters of alley’s house as well as artists.”
alley’s house not only supports teen moms, but also helps to foster creativity.
“alley’s house appreciates the value of art in life,” Abhidnya. “When a buyer purchases any artwork at the Incrementum auction, they support the value of creativity and expression”.
Kiki Curry Winters is participating in Incrementum III, 9th Annual Art Auction Benefitting alley’s house for her third year. Kiki was born and raised in Waxahachie, Texas. She was self taught in the medium of fiber art which began her career as a life-long artist. Kiki currently works from her studio/gallery, SKYPONY in Dallas, Texas. She is also co-director of the Gallery at MIDTOWN in Dallas with her husband Douglas Winters III.
“I appreciate what alley’s house does for young ladies to help them on their feet and give them hope,” Kiki said. “I was once in the position in life in which I could have used a guiding hand.”
This year you can expect a contemporary abstract work of art. She is excited to see the art auction in the new gallery this year.
“The gallery is beautiful and bigger than past events,” she said. “The new location gives Incrementum a better chance to make it grow.”
“It is a chance to get great art at reasonable prices from well known area artists,” Kiki said.