ArtLinks events, held both in person and online, provide participants with opportunities to view new work by incarcerated artists in JAC’s network and share their feedback, reflections, and encouragement with the artists through hand-written letters, which JAC sends off to the artists. Time and time again, we hear just how much it means to the artists to know that folks on the outside are seeing, appreciating, and being impacted by their work. Knowing that you took time to engage with their work, and that it spoke to you, brings them hope and validation and inspires them to keep creating. We want all of the artists who’ve entrusted their work to JAC to know how much they matter, so we hope that you’ll join us for our next ArtLinks!
In addition to our bimonthly virtual and in-person events, JAC is also currently running private ArtLinks events tailored for student and community groups. If you are interested in bringing an ArtLinks event to your classroom or group, whether online or in person (if in the DC area) please email email@example.com.
The responses we receive from artists after ArtLinks events are heartfelt:
“I loved receiving the letters about my work and the impressions they had on people. So much of the art in prison is about portraits, photo realism and the like. Because my work is, well, more impressionistic it doesn’t always receive recognition in here from others. Looking at the [JAC description] at the bottom of the letter I received — “a unique voice” — I think that succinctly captures my hope as an artist and my own goals when creating art. To create something of maybe mundane, depressing things and hopefully get a person to see it differently. To think of things in a different way. To see us prisoners beyond the crimes we committed.” – Brian
“[Dear JAC volunteer], Thank you for writing me a letter and drawing a picture. I love it. Your letter made me feel validated because for the last years since I’ve been drawing the people that inspire me and have had an impact on my life growing up, the people in here aren’t really interested in buying portraits of S. Dali or Alfred Hitchcock … and it is starting to make me feel bad about it. So thank you a million times over.” – Chad, artist
We look forward to seeing you at ArtLinks!