A blanket-jacket combo created by participants in the Undercover Project.

Neglect is more expensive than compassion – that’s the message of the artists exhibiting work in the gallery of Alley Cat Books this month. More than ten artists have contributed pieces toward an exhibition that gives voices and faces to those who have experienced homelessness.

Joe Ramos, in a series called “Acknowledged,” photographed San Franciscans impacted by homelessness and poverty – the project began 11 years ago as Ramos took photos of people visiting Project Homeless Connect events. Since then he has taken more than 3,000 photos and has no intention of slowing down.

“It is my hope that the portraits will give the issues of homelessness and poverty a face and that the people will be acknowledged,” Ramos wrote in his artist statement.

The Undercover Collective, the makers behind the blanket-jacket hybrids handed out to the homeless during the Super Bowl 50 sweeps notorious for moving people around the streets, are also exhibiting two of their garments and a video.

The exhibit also includes Annice Jacoby’s painting “Lux,” of a family of two of unknown origin, but who Jacoby suggests could be “ancient pilgrims” just as well as they could be “urban refugees.” The painting aims to call to mind “fragility and vulnerability, strength and endurance.”

"Lux" by Annice Jacoby
“Lux” by Annice Jacoby

Also featured are postcards by Cammie Touloui, art by Kate Akimbo, graphics from the WRAP archive, and poetry by Jack Hirschman, Alejandro Murguia Alessandra Bava, Tony Robles, Norman Zelaya, Cesar Love, Virginia Barrett, Michael Koch, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and more.

In a closing reception on August 26, the artists will come together and host live printing sessions, participatory performance events and broaden the discussion around homelessness.

Alley Cat Books is at 3036 24th St. Closing Reception: August 26, 2016, 6 to 9 p.m.

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