In late 2020 and early 2021, I collaborated with six Ohio artists who are directly impacted by incarceration to produce a poster series commission project called Onto Life's Pages. Each artist chose a quotation or insight from a currently or formerly incarcerated person who had a keen understanding of the power of the arts to transform, empower, and inspire. This quotation became the seed for a poster design. In partnership with Pull Club Studio in Cincinnati, we translated the six poster designs to the medium of silkscreen and created fine-art limited editions. In partnership with Wave Pool Gallery, we provided professional development support to the artists who participated in the project. We celebrated the six posters and artists in a public pop-up event in Columbus in August 2021.
A second series, Dawning of a New Day, was commissioned from seven Ohio artists in 2022. This exhibition had its debut at the Akron Art Museum in November, and will be exhibited in cities around the state during 2023.
Ohio Prison Arts Connection project in commissioning artwork is designed to pay artists for their work, to get professional tools in their hands, and to get artwork made by justice-impacted Ohioans into art buyers' hands and into public space. We are grateful for the support of Ohio Arts Council, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Puffin Foundation West, and Art for Justice Fund. The video to the left was produced by Montez Mickens.