June Ahrens, NIMBY

The Collection and The Human Journey

What does it mean to forge a more just society for the common good?

June Ahrens, NIMBY, 1992
Gift of the Artist
(located in the Academic Building entrance, HC Wing, near the bookstore)

A devoted advocate for the homeless, artist June Ahrens created NIMBY to call public attention to the indignity and prejudice faced by the homeless in their search for affordable housing. NIMBY is an acronym for Not In My Back Yard, a term used frequently in the press to express the reaction of local residents when a shelter is proposed for their neighborhood. This harshly unwelcoming welcome mat, turned upside down and covered with bent or broken keys, is intended to show how painfully the term NIMBY might be read someone who is homeless.

Ahrens, who has long been involved with shelters and similar organizations, uses her art to raise awareness of homelessness. She donated NIMBY to Sacred Heart with the hope that it would stimulate questions about our world and perhaps provoke change.
Anne Bolin, Ph.D.
Department of Graphic Design & Visual Arts