The art exhibit that I attended this semester was an installation on Alcatraz Island called "TELLING OUR STORIES: The San Quentin Prison Arts Project". The project brings art workshops to inmates (including painting, print-making, drawing, theater, etc.) to act as a form of self-expression, which isn't a trait commonly found in the overcrowded prison system. It was really cool to see all the artwork made by prisoners and hung professionally; a lot of it was super impressive.
The idea that art is rehabilitating is quite interesting and the emotions conveyed through the artwork in the cramped gallery space (literally inside of the infamous prison) were powerful alongside the bars on the dirty windows and chipping concrete. The images covered topics like race and ethnic history, life in the prison system, and even gorgeous landscapes. Overall, the show was shocking and pretty enlightening because you don't really connect great screen-prints and beautiful paintings with people behind bars.
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