The Christmas season may be over, but CORT Furniture’s BJ Hoertz is carrying that spirit of giving into the New Year. A showroom sales manager in Columbus, Ohio, Hoertz is using his artistic talent to give back to the community and inspire others to do the same. In January, Hoertz had the idea to draw a series of portraits featuring the homeless community, sell his art, and donate all the proceeds to Huckleberry House, an organization dedicated to placing teenagers in stable and safe housing environments.
While his focus is on the local Columbus community, his efforts extend beyond. When a portrait is sold to a patron outside of the local area, Hoertz donates the proceeds to a homeless organization of their choice.
It all started this past December when CORT’s Columbus team partnered with Huckleberry House to help a young mother rebuild her life after escaping a violent situation. Hoertz orchestrated donations for the cause, and personally selected several pieces of furniture and décor intended to comfort and encourage the young woman as she started over. Inspired by the mission of Huckleberry House and its impact on the community, Hoertz decided to continue supporting the organization beyond the holiday season.
Hoertz says he’s been doodling since grade school but has always preferred drawing portraits, whether of famous musicians or family dogs. So, it only made sense to combine his artistic talent with his desire to help others. Drawing inspiration from the photographic works of Lee Jeffries, Hoertz has completed three portraits since beginning the project in January.
“I draw them free hand, using ink, and it takes me a total of four to five hours to complete each one,” he says.
The pieces have already generated enough interest to raise nearly $200 for Huckleberry House, and he’s just getting started.
If you’d like to see more of Hoertz’s work, or would like to order a print for yourself, visit his studio page on Facebook.