Gallery of the Month: July

Welcome to the newest gallery in JAC’s Gallery of the Month series, where we showcase a wide range of art and writing under unique monthly themes. Check back on the first of each month for a new collection of works by the talented artists in the JAC network. To view past galleries of the month, see our Gallery Archive

We hope you enjoy this month’s gallery: Dreams.

The landscape that surrounds us maintains its power through its ability to inspire and influence emotions. The images we view and the spaces we inhabit wander into our subconscious, serving as anonymous muses. Ideally, our surroundings radiate beauty; of course, this is not always the case. Just as charming landscapes can provide joyful sources of inspiration, dreary surroundings can inhibit creation. “An awful lot of urban planning, particularly in poor areas, has doubly impoverished the poor by the ugliness which surrounds them,” says philosopher John O’Donohue, “and it’s understandable that it’s so difficult to reach and sustain gentleness there.”

We must continue to remind ourselves that, for the incarcerated artists in our network, daily life plays out almost entirely in the same concrete space. Yet, astonishing beauty can be found through their art, coming not from the presence of glamour around them but from some persistent and fluorescent source within. Whether they are inspired by magazine clippings, old memories, or simply the calling of some internal world, these artists summon beauty to wherever they reside, transfiguring scraps and solitude into unmistakable visions of majesty.

“I think that as we are speaking,” O’Donohue continues, “there are individuals holding out on frontlines, holding the humane tissue alive in areas of ultimate barbarity, where things are visible that the human eye should never see, and they’re able to sustain it because there is in them some kind of sense of beauty.”

In this month’s gallery, we enter the subconscious of the artists in our network to celebrate the otherworldly, fantastical, and tastefully unusual. Each alluring piece comes straight from the incomparable imaginations of these artists, inviting us into the dreamlike worlds of their own invention. We hope that through this gallery, you deepen your appreciation of the persistence of inner beauty brought on by imagination, and that you too find ways to transport, and summon sources of beauty wherever you go.

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