Sports | Uplifting

Professional Sports Team Hires Homeless Artist After Receiving His Heartfelt Letter

Artbeat Studio

When Jamie Hogaboam contacted the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League (NHL), he was just looking to raise money for a local art studio that helps people deal with mental illness. He decided to write the organization a letter about mental health and his own struggles.

“He wrote me a passionate and articulate letter on the subject of mental health. He referred to his own struggles, but more so the struggles of others,” Jets co-owner Mark Chipman told NHL.com. “He’s always thinking about other people, which is what drew me to him.”

The Jets had been supporting the studio for the last three years, so they already had a rough understanding of what was going on. But after receiving Hogaboam's letter: The Jets decided to take it one step further, they hired the talented artist for a special project, to paint portraits of the inaugural Winnipeg Hall of Fame class.  

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This wasn't just a token gesture by the Jets, Hogaboam is actually a very talented artist. They knew they had the right guy for the job after he was done with his first portrait, of Jets' legend Dale Hawerchuk.

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“We approached him for some portrait work for our recently created Hall of Fame, and he was up to it as an artist,” Chipman told NHL.com. “Then when I met with him, it became even more obvious that he was the right guy. He has a phenomenal understanding of the Jets and the players; he’s a bona fide hockey fan.”

His talent is speaking for itself. Take a look at some of the work he has produced over the years.

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Before landing this commission with the Jets, Hogaboam would set up on street corners and sell his art for $5 a piece.

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He doesn't just strictly stick to sports-related pieces. Take a look at these two pictures that depict the Canadian wilderness.

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Share this if you think the Jets made the right call in hiring this wildly talented artist.