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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Supporting an Artistic Vision in More Ways Than One

This is a guest post from Hernán G. Vicuña, Brand Manager of Zenni Optical

For artists, vision is essential in more than one sense: Creating art requires an artistic vision, of course, an expressive framework to communicate with an audience and challenge conventional ways of thinking and seeing the world. But for visual artists, it also requires the ability to see clearly in the physical sense, which can be a challenge for people who already struggle to meet their daily needs, like the disabled and disadvantaged artists served by the ArtLifting program.

ArtLifting empowers homeless, disabled and disadvantaged individuals through the celebration and sale of their work. Artists who participate in shelter and community service art therapy programs can work with ArtLifting to sell original art, prints, images to incorporate in greeting cards and iPhone cases, with the majority of the proceeds going to the artist.

In addition to a unique opportunity to showcase their talentfor a wider audience, working with ArtLifting can be life-changing for artists whose work captures the attention of galleries and art aficionados. Allen Chamberland, an ArtLifting artist, received an invitation to display his work in a solo art show after his art was featured on the ArtLifting site, giving him new hope to achieve financial independence despite his disability.


Hernán G. Vicuña

But many ArtLifting artists struggle with vision problems that hamper their ability to produce the artwork that sustains their creative drive. Not all have the resources to obtain medically necessary eye exams or purchase prescription glasses. And that’s where my company, Zenni Optical, was able to help. We reached out to this community and offered to provide free prescription eyeglasses to San Francisco-based ArtLifting artists.

Since our founding more than a decade ago, Zenni has been committed to the idea that everyone deserves a chance to see clearly. That’s why we provide a simple, convenient way for people to obtain affordable, fashionable eyewear online for as low as $6.95 a pair. We were proud to visit the Hospitality House Community Arts Program in San Francisco to deliver free eyeglasses to artists in need this fall, and we hope the gift will encourage them to continue producing art.


No matter how you look at it, vision is essential. The artistic vision expressed by ArtLifting artists enriches the lives of art lovers and has the potential to change the circumstances of the artists. And vision enhanced with the right prescription eyewear helps homeless, disabled and disadvantaged artists see more clearly. At Zenni, we’re proud to support the vision of the ArtLifting organization – in more ways than one.

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