The usual subjects Miami-based photographer Jamie Robinson shoots are flamboyant drag queens, hunky male exotic dancers, adorable dogs, even the president of the United States. But this weekend at a Biscayne Boulevard art gallery, Robinson, who was a White House videographer during the Carter administration, exhibits fifteen images of women. However, these aren't just any women. They're former drug addicts, alcoholics, and prostitutes.
Robinson came up with the idea to put together a show called Power of Example to benefit Grubstake Resources for Recovery, where she volunteers. Founded in October 1999 by recovered alcoholic Heather Klinker, Grubstake is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women on the streets straighten out their lives, become independent, and reunite with their children. Working out of their headquarters at Good & Funky, the thrift store on Northeast 35th Street and Second Avenue, Grubstake offers free goods to needy women as a start to getting their lives in order.
“They are women who have all recovered from their addictions and who are a power of example,” says Klinker about the uncommon models. “Some of them are connected to Grubstake, but not all have ended up homeless with their lives completely shattered. But every one of them has been affected in some way and affects lives through Grubstake.”
Grubstake is the sole organization in town devoted to providing aid to women only, and, according to Klinker, it has helped hundreds. “We just wanted to give back to the people that nobody stops and helps,” she notes. “The ones with the least and smallest voice.” Robinson adds in agreement: “The show is a tribute to these women. They each have important stories to tell. Women should know that as low as you can go, you can pull yourself out of it.”