WE BEAR Prisoner Art Exhibit Makes Its US Debut At Ann Arbor Art Fair

Donna B. Jones

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WE BEAR Prisoner Art Exhibit Makes Its US Debut At Ann Arbor Art Fair

“WE BEAR,” an artwork exhibit showcasing performs sourced by the University of Michigan’s Prison Artistic Arts Venture, will make its U.S. debut at the Ann Arbor Artwork Reasonable July 21-23.

The perform of extra than a dozen artists incarcerated in the Ann Arbor location-and a dozen far more from throughout the United Kingdom-will be exhibited following a prosperous displaying at the Coventry Biennial in England.

With a mission of supporting artists at all stages of their inventive exercise, PCAP introduced incarcerated artists with the exact prompts: a get the job done of art showcasing bears from the American Folks Art Museum in New York and a person from the Compton Verney Artwork Gallery and Park in Warwickshire, England. Organizers posed questions to inspire creative imagination pondering how the bear may possibly be sensation, and where by the bear might be in those performs.

“One particular of PCAP’s missions is to provide artwork from ‘the within,’ outside the house to humanize men and women in prison, as perfectly as make a greater dialogue about mass incarceration,” stated Sarah Unrath, PCAP arts programming coordinator.

The artwork this task encouraged places a highlight on the human affliction, significantly in the time of COVID when prisons did not lend on their own to social distancing or mental wellbeing options, PPE was not supplied and overcrowding turned a extra prevalent problem, she explained.

“So normally individuals in prison are set away and grow to be ‘out of sight, out of mind,'” Unrath said. “Until you have a liked just one who is incarcerated or has dealt with the justice program, you will not normally think about it in your day-to-working day daily life.

“The strategy that the U.S. locks absent extra of the inhabitants than any other state in the globe, and all the challenges with mass incarceration, it is really pretty much like this major secret. By bringing this concern to the forefront, we are not permitting persons to ignore about the humans that are nonetheless remaining held at the rear of bars.”

Ninety-five per cent of men and women in prison will be returned to modern society, according to the Congressional Investigation Support. PCAP’s emphasis on humanizing artists in prison via their art aims to develop a additional supportive and understanding community to decrease recidivism and stop perpetuated prison cycles on release, Unrath reported.

On-internet site with the show at Liberty and Primary streets, PCAP will host storytelling 2-4 p.m. July 21 and spoken term performances-from slam poetry to monologues to raps-2:30-4:30 p.m. July 22.

Citizens for Jail Reform will have an interactive model of a solitary cell on exhibit at the reasonable for website visitors to knowledge the conditions beneath which these artists ended up locating their inspiration and creating their art.

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