Justice Arts Coalition Blog

Time Spent – Making Art in Prison

by Rebecca Kelly People can start with what seems like an ever-renewable supply anger and despair. This emotional energy is sometimes the initial fuel for the creative act. But that energy may also prove kindling for a different kind of renewable energy, a positive drive. Something fresh and wonderful can be created from the dark …

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An Appeal for Art for Justice

About the guest contributor:
Melnee Dilworth McPherson, PhD, Dr. McPherson earned both her PhD in the Joint Sociology and Social Work Program in 2004 and her MSW in 1996 from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation entitled, “From a feminist perspective: An investigation of the relationship among dual diagnosis, intimate partner violence and parenting stress” formed the unifying theme of her research with a focus on domestic violence, mental illness, and substance misuse.
Dr. McPherson serves on several community initiatives including the Livingston-Washtenaw Substance Abuse Advisory Council and the Washtenaw Prisoner Re-entry Initiative. She is also a board member of The University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center. Dr. McPherson has taught courses at the University of Michigan- School Of Social Work and the Washtenaw Community College. She is also a consultant on a national project aimed at developing trauma-informed reentry programming for women. Dr. McPherson, a returned citizen, is also an advocate for supporting the grandmothers who take care of young people whose parent is incarcerated.

Climbing The Walls: Incarceration and Art

About the guest contributor: “Though I don’t like being labeled, or “summed up” by definitions, there are two tags I must live with. First, I am an artist… I have been my entire life. I dabble in different mediums and play with many forms of expression. I call myself an illustrator because the intent of all my work is to share a story. Places I’ve been. Things I’ve seen. Feelings I’ve dealt with. Second, I am a felon… I will be one for the rest of my life. I was released from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections custody in April, 2018. I was allowed to concentrate on my work, watch it mature, and see other’s talents grow. Through creative competition we became a collective.”

Sports or Arts?

by Treacy Ziegler About the guest contributor: Treacy Ziegler is a regular contributor to the PAC blog, and has been an exhibiting artist for the past 23 years. She studied painting and printmaking for four years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. As a student she was awarded a J. Henry Scheidt Traveling Scholarship. Before …

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“My body may be imprisoned, but nothing can keep my creative vision from reaching out beyond these walls.” – the unbounded heartwork of Carole Alden

“There are four drawings that incorporate mermaids with children or fish. These are simply joyful pieces.”            

W.B. Livingston III Connects with Fellow Music Lovers through Gifts of Art

W.B. Livingston III (Will) is a musician and visual artist who is in prison in Oklahoma. Will creates originals and prints, and donates pieces to nonprofits for fundraisers. He also does commission work.

Piercing the wall: An invitation through letters on art

Coming soon: The pARTner Project -- a collaboration between PAC and Prisoner Express which will provide an opportunity for artists and individuals with a working interest in the arts to develop friendships with artists in prison through letter correspondence and the exchange of creative works. In her newest blog, Treacy Ziegler reflects on her 8 years of experience directing distance-learning art programs for people in prison, and the relationships developed through this exchange.

Images from Behind Prison Walls offers a rare opportunity to see artwork from incarcerated men and women

Images from Behind Prison Walls is an exhibit of more than 60 pieces of artwork from men and women incarcerated in five maximum and medium security prisons, including Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, the only maximum-security prison for women in New York State, that will be on display at the Ossining Public Library Art Gallery throughout the month of July.

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Reflections from JAC’s Founding Director in Response to Anti-Asian Violence

Black Lives Matter