John Sibley was a gifted artist homeless in Chicago with a book on his existence and ideas about how to enable the homeless to survive.
John Sibley has heard and painted vivid portraits of true jazz legends like singer, Koko Taylor, John Coltrane, Howlin' Wolf and Coleman Hawkins, who perfomed on Maxwell Street in Chicago as well as sports figures like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
One day, this gifted artist found himself homeless and living in winter on the streets of Chicago for six months.
"I gazed down into the underbelly of the abyss. I am blessed that I escaped the stygian darkness of the nether world of alleys, bridge viaducts, vacant cars and subways caverns. To escape that region of dread and despair teaches you that pain and suffering are central to the human condition," he writes.
"Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist" is John Sibley's true story in a 245-page book, which serves as an articulate, honest new voice of the homeless with recommendations based upon his actual experience to optimize resources, both public and private, to help improve the wretched existence of the homeless.
John seeks urgently to publish and launch a new edition of his book to a more global audience of readers during a long, deep recession in a pivotal year when the homeless have virtually no voice speaking for them who actually know what it's like to be homeless.
"I write to illuminate the plight of the homeless so that when you see them in libraries, on subways, local train stations or standing in front of missions like they had stepped out of painter Edward Hopper’s canvas, you won’t judge them, as Anatole Broyard noted, as 'creatures of the darkness.'”
After his dark night of the spirit John Sibley believes that being
homeless in the world, displaced and rootless, is one of the most
terrifying challenges that a human can experience.
"I cannot recall the exact day-to-day or month-to-month suffering that I endured, but the existential feeling of dread, despair, hopelessness, wretchedness and loneliness still clings to my consciousness," John Sibley writes.
Here is John Sibley on YouTube: http://youtu.be/_YOQZsrT4Vk
"Being and Homelessness" has earned a 4.11 star rating on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13374361-being-and-homelessness
"Being and Homelessness" has been voted 19th on "President Obama's Summer Reading List" at Goodreads at: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/6434.President_Obama_s_Summer_Reading_List#13374361
It also ranks near the top quartile of the Goodreads List of books about "Social Justice": http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/851.Social_Justice_Books_on_Racism_Sexism_and_Class?page=2#13374361
The reality is that for millions of us in our times we are only a lost job, a breadwinner's disability or death, a business failure, a lawsuit, a divorce, a long-term illness or natural disaster away from homelessness.
The experience of John Sibley will inspire you with its honesty, faith and redemption. John's worthy voice needs to be backed in order for it to heard by a wider audience and you can help to make it so while fighting homelessness through a genuine act of humanity.
Please back this powerful and compelling book by a gifted American artist who knows from experience what it means to live as a homeless man on the mean streets of Chicago in winter.
Read an Excerpt
You are invited to read an excerpt from Chapter One of Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist:
About John Sibley
Born in Chicago, John Sibley, is an accomplished artist and author.
Art and music have always been a part of his life. Sibley grew up in a Chicago household listening to his father play the boogie-woogie on his Steinway Grand Piano. He credits his cousin, Levi, who is now blind, for mentoring him in art.
Sibley is a 1994 graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree.
He has worked for 23 years as a supervisor for a hi-tech, acoustic company and has taught in Chicago Public Schools.
He resides in Chicago/Aurora and has two daughters and a son.
He has hired people from the Hesed House Homeless Shelter in Aurora and donated food to the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago.
Sibley is a 2007 American Sports Artist Nominee. His paintings are owned by former Chicago Bull, John Salley; NFL icon, Walter Payton; Mike Tyson; Revey Sorey; author, Manik D. Dover and Chicago Mayor, Richard J. Daley.
His sci-fi novel, Bodyslick -- for which he created 52 illustrations -- was published in 2008 by Vibe/Kensington in New York.
Sibley has appeared on WGN-Channel 9 in Chicago with Dan Roan, ABC with Jim Rose, WNUA with jazz icon, Ramsey Lewis and was a courtroom artist for CNN covering the FLN Trial.
Here are some of the early reviews:
“There is an undulating jazz beat that courses through the work of John Sibley.” – Mary Houlihan, Chicago Sun-Times
“Sibley jolts us from our comfort zone, and for that alone, this is a powerful book worth reading.”– Matthew Brennan, Aurora Beacon-Journal
“He is able to give us a glimpse into a world that most of us hope and pray we will never see.” – Lisa Sachs, Recipes for a Better World
“John does a fantastic evocation of the space in his stories and really makes me understand why Maxwell Street was so important to so many people.” – Jason Pettus, Owner of the Chicago Center of Literature and Photography
“It grieves me terribly that one in 3 black males are incarcerated, on probation or on parole… John points out that contemporary African Americans were slaves 105 years longer than they've been free.”
– Rev. Dr. Jude Arnold
“John H. Sibley's new literary work, "Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist,' is an important and welcome contribution, arriving as it does, at a time when the scene of the art world is mostly cordoned off to all but the privileged elect…If you have an interest, even a curiosity about the life of art outside of the mainstream, spoon-fed versions, this book will be of interest to you. If you have an interest in the causes and experience of the homeless, this book will interest you also.” – Jesse S. Hanson, Underground Artist
“Sibley writes clearly, and his thinking is lucid. He concludes that homelessness has taught him that he is a man before he is an artist... I absolutely devoured this one! A quick easy read that is thoughtful and well done.” – Goodreads
pledged of $6,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on May 20, 2012.
Apr 5, 2012 - May 20, 2012 (45 days)
Pledge $35 or more
Printed copy of John Sibley's new 245-page book of non-fiction, "Being and Homelessness."Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $75 or more
Signed, printed copy of John Sibley's new 245-page book of non-fiction, "Being and Homelessness."Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $150 or more
Your name in Acknowledgments of printed June edition as someone tangibly striving to help alleviate homelessness. Two printed copies of this edition.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $250 or more
Reward #3 with a total of two signed copies of the printed, June edition.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $400 or more
Reward #4 with a total of 5 signed copies of the printed June edition.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $750 or more
Titled listing as True Patron up-front in the book with 10 signed copies of the printed June edition.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
Corporate Patron: titled listing as Corporate Patron inside book with your corporate logo. 15 signed copies of the printed June edition.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $1,500 or more
Mega-Patron: titled listing as Mega-Patron inside book either with your B+W photo with name caption or your corporate logo inside the book. 20 signed, copies of printed June edition.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $2,500 or more
0 backers Limited (1 of 1 left)
Ultra-Patron: titled listing as Ultra-Patron inside book either with your B+W photo with name caption and 500-character profile or B+W corporate logo with 500-character corporate profile. Your full-color head-and-shoulders photo or full-color corporate photo on outside back cover of printed June edition. Plus 25 collectible, signed, printed copies and one signed, first-edition proof of "Being and Homelessness" by John H. Sibley.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012