NATION’S LARGEST EXHIBTION OF PRISON ART CELEBRATES 15 YEARS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

10 Mar
PCAP Artwork - Ket Painting

Title: Why my baby? Artist: dara ket

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) presents the Fifteenth Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners.  Running from March 23 – April 7, 2010, the show will be held at the Duderstadt Center Gallery on the University of Michigan North Campus at 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard.  Over the past 15 years, this nationally recognized show has grown to be the largest exhibition of prisoner art in the country.  This year’s exhibition will include more than 300 works of art by over 200 artists, shedding light on the talents to be found behind prison walls and encouraging the public to take a second look.

Free and open to the public, the exhibition and surrounding educational events raise awareness and inspire dialogue between the incarcerated and the community at large. The public is invited to an opening reception on March 23th from 5:30 – 8 p.m. in the gallery.  University of Michigan Provost Theresa Sullivan will join the curators of the exhibition along with the Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, Patricia Caruso in addressing the gallery. Formerly incarcerated artists who have now re-entered into the community will also speak about what the show means to those in prison.

Participating artists express gratitude to organizers and gallery visitors alike, stressing the show’s impact on their lives and the community at large.  “I believe that your program gives the public a glimpse into the type of things that inspire even the most downtrodden of us all” writes one artist. “When people see our work, for a few moments, they forget that this work was done by a felon, but by another human being.  A human being who has the same thoughts, emotions, and inspirations as they do, and for that one moment, a major social and political barrier is shattered.”

Despite limited resources, exhibition artists create work in a rich range of styles, mediums, and themes.  This year artists have also been asked to address the current economic situation in the state of Michigan visually if they so choose. Visitors return to the show year after year to glimpse art that is remarkable for its originality, beauty, and sheer expressive power.  Last year, over 4,000 people came to the exhibit.  Organizers expect even higher attendance this year and an exciting array of new work.

This year’s exhibition, curated by Professors Buzz Alexander, Janie Paul, and Jason Wright, exhibits work from over forty prisons throughout the state.  The curators, PCAP Administrators Lashaun phoenix Moore, and Sari Adelson, along with various volunteers travel to these prisons to hand select the strongest work from the artists. As a result of this annual event, the amount of art created in Michigan prisons has increased dramatically, and Michigan prison artists have become national leaders, inspiring others to create art behind bars.

The Prison Creative Arts Project will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in conjunction with the 15th Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners.   A symposium will be held at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus with a Keynote address being delivered by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project on March 26, 2010. Fellow practioners, Judith Tannebaum, Phyllis Kornfeld, Leslie Neal, and others, along with PCAP associates will hold panel discussions throughout the day on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

The exhibition is to be accompanied by the release of the 2nd Annual Literary Review of Creative Writing by Michigan Prisoners, readings of works from the publication by formerly incarcerated individuals are set to take place both in Ann Arbor and in the Detroit area, a screening of the film “Concrete, Steel, and Paint” and dialog with filmmakers will be held at the Michigan Theater, Natalie Holbrook from the American Friends Service Committee will address issues of Health Care inside Michigan’s Prisons, youth from Detroit will join us for a dialog about what’s on their minds, as they speak about their lives and their communities.  For full listing of events please click here.

Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday, and 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday – Monday.

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For more information: call 734-647-7673, email prisonart@umich.edu, or visit www.prisonarts.org
Watch a brief preview of the PBS documentary “Acts of Art: The Prison Creative Arts Project” here: http://www.michigantelevision.org/
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6 Responses to “NATION’S LARGEST EXHIBTION OF PRISON ART CELEBRATES 15 YEARS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN”

  1. miko malioboro July 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Yes,..Look like the same experiance with me,..1 year (2007-2008) Im life in prison (because mariyuhana) and as long as Im in Prison,.. I have got 300 more artwork painting, Drawing, Sculpture and Poem,..and than I made Solo Exhibition in the prison (2008),..In 2009,,The Art work from prison & me have Solo Exhibition in “Impression Gallery”- Paris – France, and “Anthidot Cultural Space” – Bordeaux – France, Brno (Rep.Cheko) & Hungary,.. Hope Next Day we can make art program in same konsep,… Thanks,…..See You,.. (miko malioboro)

  2. theprisonartscoalition July 18, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Hi Charlotte,
    I’d recommend taking a look at our Programs page to see if there are any arts programs in his area, and if you find something, go ahead and contact them using the information provided. Unfortunately, most prisons lack these kinds of opportunities, but there are a number of wonderful nonprofits working to change this.

  3. Charlotte Davis July 16, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Could you please tell me how I may forward you information on a current inmate who also possess remarkable talent and needs to be able to be involved in something like this to help him with an outlet for his anger. He really needs to be a part of something productive that provides him with a soothing atmosphere. Thank you so much.

  4. scott January 6, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Can you share with me how things are going with your website and potential sales we are here in California and are planning to create a virtual sales opportunity for Prison Artists to share there work… Would love your thoughts… Thank you,

    Scott

  5. ken vas July 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    I just purchased a desk that was supposed to have been made by a prisioner at SPSM in Jackson. It’s a very well made desk with inlays and a nice finish. Is there an archive of wooden furniture made by inmates/residents? I;m interested in the history of woodwork especially personal pieces for individual sale not the standard furniture that was mass producedby the Industries program.
    Thank you Ken

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