“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.
After being homeless and living in his Jeep for 5 years, in November 2018 he moved to transitional housing at Aloha Inn in North Seattle. He worked on the front desk 15 hours a week and the money he earned went directly into a savings account. The savings, along with move-in assistance from Aloha Inn, helped him when his name came up for a subsidized apartment in a Seattle Housing Authority building. He was able to move into the building during the month of May 2019. Jeffrey is very happy to have his own apartment where he can create his art. He continues to receive support when he visits Ballard NW Senior Center. His health and well-being have improved since moving out of his Jeep.
Selling his art is making an important impact on his life in maintaining his new apartment.
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 former 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.
"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.