“Being part of ArtLifting, I feel I have come full circle. Art has been a positive focus for me. It is a way I can communicate with others. My art does not project me as someone with mental illness or homelessness, but as a person who wants to share joy and beauty with others.”
Jeffrey Mayo is a visual artist, performer and musician. He is also known in his artistic circles as “Cheetah,” which he often uses as the signature on his artwork. Jeffrey draws his creative inspiration from within himself, and creates his art through drums and hand percussions in addition to oil and chalk pastels. Jeffrey is currently homeless and living in his car, while receiving services from the Ballard NW Senior Center for support in locating housing, food, dental care, and basic necessities. He describes that his days and nights are spent creating designs and applying color.
Jeffrey's artwork shows thematic elements that reflect his interest in architecture, music, and cycles of nature, as well as his life experiences. He was born in Seattle, where he currently resides, but spent many of his formative years in San Francisco. He has been making art since he was 15 years old, and describes: “My art began as a hobby. It grew into a way of life. When I was in Mission High School, San Francisco, my teacher entered one of my paintings in the 'Plant a Tree Week' art contest. My painting was of a hand holding a ball of soil with a young tree growing out of it. I won the contest and had my painting shown at the DeYoung Museum. Today, for me, the soil symbolizes my present circumstance of being homeless.”
Jeffrey has worked in various jobs including printing, security and janitorial services. He became homeless when he was unable to work after surgery on his pituitary gland in 2013. He hopes that selling his art will make an important impact on his life.
“With increased income, I hope to find a home to live in, and to have my vehicle repaired, to be able to afford food that is nutritious, and to keep my hygiene up. I have been homeless for three years, but creating art and music has kept me hopeful and happy. I understand how art can bring joy, peace and inspiration to others, and I hope to be able to share this feeling with more people through my art.”read more
Prints by Jeffrey Mayo
ArtLifting empowers artists impacted by homelessness or disabilities through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.