Beginning with a chance meeting between a young photographer, Rachel Bujalski, and homeless activist, David Busch, The Mirror, Mirror Project originated in Venice Beach starting with a conversation and a clipboard. A powerful dialogue among the two quickly grew into an organization, teaming up local homeless youth with established artists to not only create an unintimidating environment to connect people within a community, but to give them an opportunity to become inspired by each other.
It all started as Rachel, a photographer with a habitual curiosity of people, was intrigued at the sight of a man holding a clipboard full of papers (she later found out was a petition) outside of a post office one day. Following the instinct only photographers might understand, Rachel immediately struck up a conversation with David who was petitioning for the Venice beach bathrooms to stay open later at night. Eventually, the two began meeting for coffee every week to discuss and work together on a common idea: to bring the community together.
Rachel and David came up with what would initiate The Mirror, Mirror Project; similar to their own relationship, their goal became to bring the homeless and artist communities together in a creative way to show each other, as well as others, that they share more in common than their zip code and that there is so much to be achieved from that.
The Mirror, Mirror Project is currently based in Los Angeles, CA, accruing new local artists and homeless youths around the area constantly. This project is an ongoing effort to unite and form a humanizing bond between the members of a community that might not normally do so much as acknowledge each other’s presence.
As the project grows and continues making a positive impact on the people becoming involved, Rachel works on expanding the project to new cities and new communities.
Subject: Getting back to you.
Date: September 4, 2013 8:22:14 PM PDT
I’m glad I was able to offer up something that advances
the Mirror, Mirror Project a little closer!
And let’s not give up! Ever! I didn’t get to the internet until today.
I will be at pier st cafe online by 10 am tomorrow.
I’ll also be here at pier st until ten tonight.
The Mirror, Mirror Project’s goal is to erase the stereotypes of people that exist in our world and create a space to share our stories, thoughts, voices and visions through art.
“I broke my mirror expecting to sweep away the pieces. Instead, I watched the cracks form wrinkles, then thoughts. The fact I was broken was beautiful.”
- Youth: Antonio, Katherine Rohrbacher’s partner
The Mirror, Mirror Project is a traveling art program that drops into different non-profit organizations around the world. During each partnership, professional artists from the community work with each organization to inspire the youth through creating art.
For a time period of about 3-4 months, the youth and the professional artists work face-to-face creating each others portraits in an artistic style of their choice. In a predetermined gallery in the community, each partnership will hang their portraits they created of each other side by side in a culminating exhibition. Once the exhibition is installed, the community is invited to explore the portraits created by each partnership and discover the power of the unique relationships that were created by art and conversation.
“Maybe if I drew you, I would know you. Highlight your flaws as you show me mine. Maybe if we all took the time to draw each other, we wouldn’t be strangers.”
-Artist: Katherine Rohrbacher, Antonio’s partner