In mid-February 2023, Unaccompanied, an exhibition of painter Kate Capshaw’s portrait series of young people experiencing homelessness, opened at The Bo Barlett Center gallery, housed in the River Park campus. of Columbus State University, in Columbus Georgia. Among the Capshaw oil paintings on display was her 2018 portrait of Door youth member Isaiah Babb, painted onsite at The Door’s Manhattan youth center space in SoHo.
The Unaccompanied series had its beginnings in 2016, an artistic outgrowth of Capshaw’s inquiry into the invisibility of homeless youth in our society and culture. In August 2022, The Door collaborated again with Capshaw’s KC the STUDIO team and sound artist Joshua-Michéle Ross, on an accompanying audio component to her Unaccompanied painting series, resulting in audio interviews recorded at Broome Street, with Isaiah Babb, another current Door youth member, and a senior staff member overseeing runaway and homeless youth.
Thanks to the generosity of KC the STUDIO and the Hearthland Foundation, three community members from The Door were able to travel to Georgia to attend several of the Unaccompanied exhibition-related events, including a public artists’ talk and an opening reception: Isaiah, Managing Director of Communications & Marketing Mika De Roo, and Managing Director of Housing & Supportive Services Stacy Stewart.
Today, Isaiah Babb, now 26, is a teaching artist, as well as a teacher’s assistant at a Queens public school. He also performs weekly at a music club in the West Village. Capshaw painted Isaiah some five years ago, and it was beyond thrilling for him and some of our staff to see his stunning portrait, along with all the others on display, in person, along with the moving work by sound artist Joshua-Michéle Ross, which featured the actual voices of the portrait participants in the exhibition.