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We Bear

Parker Ayers, We Bear, 2021

International debut of unique UK and US prison art exhibit at Ann Arbor Art Fair.

In the depths of the covid pandemic lockdown, 31 people isolated in prisons in the UK and US produced extraordinary artworks exploring personal experiences of incarceration.

UK Artist, Faye Claridge, invited participants creative responses to folk art paintings from the two countries*, showing different treatment of captive bears. These, as metaphors, provided inspiration for the remarkable artworks presented in We Bear.

We Bear: Behind the Scenes

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Here's your opportunity to get an exclusive look into the makings of the compelling international collaboration, We Bear. Join the online event and experience the project in-depth, with behind-the-scenes documentation, engagement with participants, and additional insights into the art. Hear from project creator Faye Claridge, the artist participants, along with commissioners Coventry Biennial, UK prison education provider Novus, and the director of PCAP.

Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, Main Street & Liberty
July 21 — 23, 2022

With the Arts Council England's support, We Bear traveled to the US and was showcased at the hugely popular Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. The University of Michigan Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP), partnered with the project from conception and is now collaborating as co-curator for the art fair exhibit. Fair-goers joined them, Thursday - Saturday, to experience the entire collection and left their mark in the ongoing collaborative public art installation at the exhibit’s activity tent. There were also engaging live events just down the street, thanks to support from The Guild of Artists and Artisans.

The Stage on Main, William & Main Street
July 21 & 22, 2022

At the Stage on Main, in the parking lot next to Palio Restaurant at the corner of William & Main, audiences heard firsthand the captivating stories of artists who have created art inside prison, celebrated the spoken words of writers who are currently/formerly incarcerated, and were swept away by musical performances from Brandon McCoy & Brian Bristol.