POWERLESS HOMELESS

eloisePHOTOGRAPHER CHRIS KEELEY’S CAPITOL HILL ART EXHIBITHON. TOM LANTOS


(Extension of Remarks – November 02, 1990) in the House of Representatives SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1990:


Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, the plight of the homeless is one of the great tragedies of our generation.


In order to highlight this problem which faces communities throughout our Nation, the Select Committee on Hunger, Hill Staffers for the Hungry and Homeless, and my wife, Annette, and I recently sponsored an outstanding photographic exhibit on the homeless in the Washington metroplitan area.


`Powerless Homeless’ depicts the many faces of the homeless—men, women, children, families. These poignant portraits were on display in the Rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building here on Capitol Hill.


These photographic portraits of the homeless and their comments about life represent a true triumph of the human spirit. Members of Congress and hundreds of visitors who viewed these vivid images of those stricken by this tragedy and read the accompanying quotations by those pictured were impressed and, I hope, moved to helpful action toward ending this growing national problem.


Chris Keeley is the outstanding young photographer responsible for this work which so dramatically captures the plight of the homeless in our area. Mr. Keeley has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Corcoran School of Art and has exhibited his work in numerous shows, both nationally and internationally.


Annette and I first became acquainted with his work when we were in Athens visiting with his parents, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Robert Keeley and Mrs. Louise Keeley.


At that time, Mr. Keeley had an exhibit at the Pierides Gallery-Museum which documented drug addiction and was entitled, `Addict—Out of the Dark and Into the Light.’ Annette suggested that he prepare a similar exhibit documenting the plight of the homeless. The outstanding photographs on display in the Rotunda were a result of that request.


One of these photographic portraits has already won an award, and judging from their quality, more recognition will follow. The exhibit will go on to Berlin, Germany, where a situation affecting homeless people similar to that depicted here has become evident since the dismantling of the infamous wall.


Mr. Speaker, I commend Chris Keeley on his impressive work and hope that not only will his professional artistry continue to be recognized, but also that the homeless problem which it so skillfully depicts will become a tragedy of our past, not a continuing blight on our future.
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