Flower

Watercolor
Artist’s statement:
Hello. My name is Stuart Mitchell Young. Until prison I had very little experience with art. I took a very basic class in middle school and a semester of art in high school. Once I came to prison I had a very hard time adjusting. The people here that are not interested in bettering themselves were hard to deal with. I became suicidal after being sent to another prison that was a very dangerous place. I was confined to the SHU for another 11 months. Total between solitary confinement in pretrial and SHU I spent a total of 25 months in some form of protective custody, most of it spent alone. I did not adjust well. However in my third year of incarceration I rediscovered art. I started drawing. I realized that I wasn’t bad. In fact I started with drawing animals in graphite and I was already as good as most “portrait artists” we have here. It’s kept me out of the SHU and has become my chosen coping method for stress. I started treatment for my crimes and painting helps me deal with the stress of changing who I was. I was always playing video games and browsing the internet before, but now I have decided that I want to spend my free time drawing, painting or crafting items for people to enjoy. I just wish that art programs had a higher priority than they do now. On average, without missing meals, we only have five hours a day, but they tend to close our art rooms for any reason they can. We pay for the “privilege” of having art supplies with a 30% markup for each item only to be told we can’t access them the majority of the day. So even though I’ve finally found an acceptable practice to fill my free time I’m hindered by the very organization that has told me that I needed to change.

2 thoughts on “Flower

  1. theprisonartscoalition

    Hi Stephanie,
    Stuart is indeed a gifted artist, and I’d be happy to share more of his work through our gallery. If he’d like you to submit pieces on his behalf, you’re welcome to email photos of them to me at pacoalitionadmin@gmail.com, or his friend who sent me the flower can send me originals by mail.
    I’m sure your support means a great deal to him!
    All my best,
    Wendy

  2. Stephanie L May

    This young man is my nephew. This is just a small example of his art work. I never realized what a talented artist he was until he was incarcerated. I am sorry it took being incarcerated for it to come out but am so very proud of his talent. Not only is he able to make flowers look to be alive, he also does excellent portrait drawings. He has done one of my husband and me as well as one of my precious dog. They hang proudly in our living room. I would love to see more of his art in your gallery.

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