For our inaugural issue, three local artists created new works to explore the implications of imprisonment and reentry for Louisiana communities. Their paintings, portraits, photographs, and still lifes draw upon the stories and insights shared by formerly incarcerated activists and individuals from Rising Foundations, Operation Restoration, Women with a Vision, Roots of Renewal, Sister Hearts, and VOTE.
Through dinner conversations, interviews, and roundtable discussions, artists engaged systemic issues and the complexities of criminal justice and reentry by exploring and representing the stories and the humanity of individuals.
Of course, this doesn't mean ignoring the big picture. The artists received a briefing document introducing critical issues from money bail to elected judges, and also engaged public defenders, reentry organizations, and other stakeholders to learn more broadly about the criminal justice system.
The bulk of the work, though, occurred in the form of deeply personal conversations and using individual stories as the starting point for creating paintings, portraits, and drawings. We hope that each piece of art becomes a way for you to access the stories and humanity of our fellow New Orleanians, while also sparking interest in the systems of which we are all a part.
Mixed Media is a multi-disciplinary project of the Blue House Civic Studio. Through storytelling, dialogue, and art, we create new pathways for viewers to engage critical civic issues.
To see/purchase the artwork, visit us at the Blue House (1700 S. Rampart) between the hours of 9 and 5, on weekdays. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Print version available in the New Orleans Advocate on Sunday, March 24, 2019. Read artist interviews here.
Resources and events compiled by the Mixed Media team. You can find the sheet here as well.
Email email@example.com with resources and events that you think we should add to the document. Thank you.