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La Liga de Las Americas

ART: U of M is venue for 11th show for exhibiting art of Michigan prisoners

ANN ARBOR, MI: The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) is presenting its Eleventh Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners and a series of twelve educational events from March 14-29.

Children of Flores by Henry R. Cuellar

During the opening reception on March 14th, the University of Michigan will honor the founder of PCAP, Buzz Alexander, who was named the 2005 Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Over the last decade, this nationally recognized show has grown to include nearly 350 works of art by over 200 incarcerated artists. Despite limited resources, artists create work that represents a rich range of styles, mediums, and themes. Last year, over 4,000 people witnessed this dynamic exhibit.

According to Jamal Biggs, a featured artist, “The exhibit has helped in eliminating the ‘us versus them’ mindset between the free public and the incarcerated and assists in facilitating a sense of community that joins both segments of the population.”

PCAP Administrator Suzanne Gothard and University of Michigan Professors Buzz Alexander and Janie Paul co-curate the exhibit. Together, with student and community volunteers, Gothard, Alexander, Paul travel to over 40 prisons throughout the state to hand select the strongest work for the show.

Flowers Butterflies by Lessie "Dawna" Brown

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 in the quality, breadth, and originality of their artwork. The top thirty pieces from this year's show will travel to the University of Illinois in April to be part of a special exhibition at the Open Source Gallery.

This year’s series of educational events include keynote speakers Liz Fink, a criminal defense attorney, and Christian Parenti, author of Lockdown America; also, a special screening of the award winning documentary After Innocence and a night of spoken word featuring formerly incarcerated poets, their mentors, and New York poet Eric “EZ” Waters.

Free and open to the public, the exhibit and surrounding educational events inspire dialogue between the incarcerated and the community.

The exhibit, which inspires dialogue between the incarcerated and the community, is free and open to the public, at the Duderstadt Center Gallery on the University of Michigan North Campus, 2281 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor.


Kayla by Willie Terrell

Art includes works illustrated on the front page and page 18 of La Prensa: “Children of Flores” by Henry R. Cuellar, “I Plead the Fifth” by Roberto Anselmo, “Flowers Butterflies” by Lessie ‘Dawna’ Brown, and “Cottage by the Stream” by Jack Boyd.

The public is encouraged to attend the show’s opening reception on March 14 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. in the Gallery.


Speakers include artists from previous exhibitions and Herschell Turner, art instructor at the Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility. Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday - Monday.

Cottage by the Stream by Jack Boyd.jpg

  I Plead the Fifth by Roberto Anselmo

Power and Pain (for us all) by W.E. Graves






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