18th Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners
My Escape byTim Brownell
Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners Events
“I believe that your program gives the public a glimpse into the type of things that inspire even the most downtrodden of us all. When people see our work, for a few moments they forget that this work was done by a felon, but by another human being. A human being who has the same thoughts, emotions, and inspirations as they do, and for that one moment, a major social and political barrier is shattered.”
— Anonymous artist featured in the exhibition
The Annual Exhibition of Art is held at:
Duderstadt Center Gallery
University of Michigan North Campus
2281 Bonisteel Boulevard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
PCAP is proud to present the Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners. Since its inception in 1996, this nationally recognized show has grown to be the largest exhibition of prisoner art in the country, featuring more than 300 works of art by over 200 artists. Despite limited resources, exhibition artists create work in a rich range of styles, mediums and themes. The exhibition sheds light on the talents found behind prison walls and encourages the public to take a second look, inspiring dialogue and awareness. As a result of this annual event, the amount of art created in Michigan prisons has increased dramatically, and Michigan prison artists have become national leaders, inspiring others to create art behind bars.
In conjunction with the University's Understanding Race theme semester, artists were invited to submit work relating to race. The curators asked artists how they respond to challenges about one’s race, either individually or collectively. The hope is that art that responds to this question will facilitate dialogue where artists and viewers will grapple with the issue and where viewers in the gallery can dialogue with one another in a fruitful and beneficial way.
The exhibition is free and open to the public. Exhibition hours are 10am-7pm Tuesday through Saturday; 12pm-6pm Sunday and Monday.
How is the art selected?
Exhibition curators (Buzz Alexander, Janie Paul, Sari Adelson, Charlie Michaels) and volunteers travel to over 30 prisons throughout Michigan to select the strongest work from the artists.
Is there a theme?
Each year’s theme is determined by responses to the evaluation PCAP sends to its community of artists. The theme is a topic that artists may address visually, if they so choose. The theme for 2013 is "Understanding Race." In previous years, themes have ranged from climate change to the current economic situation in Michigan, to the Gulf Oil Spill.
How many visitors come to the exhibition?
Visitors return to the show year after year to glimpse art that is remarkable for its beauty, originality, and sheer expressive power. The 2012 exhibition attracted over 3,000 visitors.