Insider Art..Works from US Prisons
Group Exhibition | Gallery 151
On View from December 11, 2014 through January 15, 2015 at Gallery 151. 132 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011.
Gallery 151 in partnership with the Prison Arts Coalition is pleased to present Insider Art: Works from US Prisons, a group exhibition showcasing a body of artwork created by current or former US prisoners. Insider Art highlights a range of artists who have faced incarceration, drawing inspiration from numerous sources.
In the past thirty years, the United States has quadrupled its rate of incarcerated citizens and now contains a staggering 25% of the world’s prisoners while being home to only 5% of the world’s population- leaving over 1% of the entire US population currently imprisoned. Approximately one quarter of this population is made up of non-violent drug offenders, stoking a decades-long controversy and mass movement mobilized against drug prohibition. In New York State, the recent repeal of the Rockefeller Drug Laws was a major step for advocates of reform, however, even today, aside from Cuba, New York State alone has a higher incarceration rate than any other country in the entire world when looked at on its own. This rate is slightly higher than Rwanda, which is still trying thousands of people in connection with the 1994 genocide.
Programming during this exhibition will highlight several issues with the US Penal system, particularly that of a large, particularly minority population of the falsely accused. As art becomes increasingly essential as a rehabilitative and therapeutic tool for men and women in US prisons, as well as a means for others in the justice community to convey their ideas and feelings, the artworks on display will open up a larger dialog about the idea of incarceration itself- exploring when and how it should be used, if at all.