Every kid deserves a home, but the heartbreaking reality is that not every kid is born with one. To help remedy this, Column Five is proud to launch a new endeavor: When You Think of Home, a creative project that enlists artists around the world to create unique posters that benefit Acres of Love, a nonprofit that houses orphaned kids in South Africa.
Today we’re sharing the story of how this unique project came to be, and why we’re so passionate about this cause.
Channeling Creativity For a Cause
We believe everyone can help the world in some way, no matter how big or small. As a community of content creators, artists, and designers, we’re always eager to amplify worthy causes through creative storytelling. After learning about Acres of Love, and then visiting South Africa to see their work first-hand, we were eager to put our skills to good use.
Their mission is to provide not just a forever home but also families for kids orphaned due to the AIDS crisis, abuse, or poverty. They also provide education, specialized care, and quality nutrition—determined to help the children truly thrive.
(If you have time, learn more about their amazing work.)
This struck a powerful chord with us. As many C5ers have become parents in recent years, helping kids find forever homes is a cause especially close to our hearts. Channeling our creativity to support this organization felt like a no-brainer. But how to do it?
Home plays such an important role in our lives. It’s a sacred space to find connection and recharge, to enjoy solitude or time with family (whether your family of origin or a chosen family). The more we thought about the idea of home, the more we realized that it is a deeply personal concept.
For some people, it can be a place or a person. For others, it may be a memory or feeling—even a certain type of food. As storytellers by trade, we wanted to both capture and celebrate these sentiments, so we decided to create a storytelling series to illustrate the importance of home and raise awareness about Acres’ work. We call it When You Think of Home.
When You Think of Home, What Do You Think Of?
To create the series, we asked our community of artists (those we’ve worked with, for, or become fans of over the years) to represent their idea of home as a high-quality art print. They had little direction; we simply asked them to identify where they consider their home to be, whether a remote village or bustling city, and to contribute a small story behind the piece. From Romania to Seattle, more than 60 artists contributed in time for our launch, and we were truly blown away by their submissions. (Our aim is to continue growing this list over time.)
From the whimsical to the mundane, the treetops to the kitchen table, this collection is an expansive and—at times—very emotional exploration of the meaning of home.
Each piece is a unique personal expression, conjuring powerful images that range from joyful and playful to wistful and contemplative.
Panadura, Sri Lanka
“While I live in Orange County, I was born and raised in Sri Lanka, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean where Buddhism is the prominent religion. Whenever I go to visit, I always know I’ve arrived home as I pass by a golden Buddha statue that sits at the entrance to my small home town. Not only is it a beautiful symbol of my small town and country as a whole, but it’s also a direct connection to my grandfather, who has been in charge of maintaining it for as long as I can remember.”
Russia, State N°73
“I’ve decided to depict my home town through the portrait of this guy in a tracksuit. I’ve been based in Milan, Italy, for the past 8 years, despite originally coming from Ulyanovsk, Russia. Otherwise known as the 73 region, Ulyanovsk is known for its citizens’ love of tracksuits: not just in their enthusiasm for sports, but also in their everyday wear. Living this far from home for so long now, often it’s details like these that make me warmly recall the place I grew up in. This reminiscence isn’t without its drawbacks. Often, I worry for the future of Ulyanovsk, because of the level of the unemployment and the boredom around the young part of the population.”
“For many reasons, home was not an environment I wanted to be in, growing up. I knew as difficult as it would be, I wanted to approach “When You Think of Home” in the context of my childhood as a cathartic act. One night, while watching an episode of Ugly Delicious and trying to think of ideas for the show, David Chang talked about the Korean-American Thanksgiving—one that I’m all too familiar with. He mentioned his most vivid memory was of his mother’s back, cooking. This resonated with me so much. When my mother was in this act, cooking Kimchi jjigae or Tteokguk soup, I felt safe. I felt nourished and nurtured, but only from a distance, from a woman I couldn’t understand. Of her many sides, my mother’s back was the most approachable, and the one I wish I knew more of.”
New York, New York
“As someone who grew up moving from place to place, it took me a while to find somewhere that truly felt like home. When I moved to New York and settled in, I finally found myself at home. Here, home is a cozy place where you feel like yourself but can also look out into the world for excitement and encouragement. Home may not always be completely, familiar but it can be a place for one to be at ease.”
“When I think of home, I think of the American River. It’s not too often that I think of how fun it was having the river as my backyard—memories of my childhood of riding bikes through the trails, learning about the plant life and fauna in school, its history during the Gold Rush, exploring the area, feeding ducks, seeing the salmon run every fall. So much of my life has been around this river; it wasn’t until making this piece now that I realized that. Since being away from home more often now, I find myself thinking about the river more, and how much it symbolizes my home.”
Printed as 18″ X 24″, matte-finish posters, we think these pieces make a beautiful addition to any space, whether a home, office, or classroom.
- To see the entire collection, visit www.whenyouthinkofhome.com.
- If you’re interested in contributing, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Submission” in the subject line, and send us your name, a bit about yourself (100 words or less), the location of the “home” you want to illustrate (e.g., Hamburg, Germany or Oaxaca City, Mexico), and a link to your work (Dribbble, Behance, website, Instagram, etc.). If we think your work and style would complement our existing body of work, we’ll reach out. (We’ll reply to enquiries ASAP.)
- If you don’t have the wall space or don’t need a print, consider donating to Acres of Love directly.
Thank you to all of our artists, our print partner Printed Mint, the hardworking people at Acres of Love, and the team that helped make this happen. We hope you enjoy When You Think of Home as much as we do.