Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners Celebrates its 22nd Year at the University of Michigan
The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP), a program of the LSA Residential College at the University of Michigan, presents the 22nd Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners. Running from March 22– April 5, 2017, the show will be held at the Duderstadt Center Gallery on the University of Michigan North Campus at 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard. The exhibit is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.
This sensational, nationally recognized show has grown to be one of the largest exhibitions of its kind, attracting over 3,000 visitors last year to view 614 works by 424 artists. Free and open to the public, PCAP’s Annual Exhibition provides a gallery for visitors to engage with the ideas and images created by prisoners. Most pieces are offered for sale, with proceeds going directly to the artists.
Exceptional art this year includes 3D work that varies in subject, size and dimension. “You just have to see the fish!” exclaimed a curator who is working on the show. “The 3D work this year is out of this world!”
The public is invited to an opening reception on March 22th from 7:00-9:00 pm in the gallery. Formerly incarcerated artists will speak about what the show means to them and to those in prison, and the Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, Kenneth McKee, will speak to the significance of PCAP’s arts programming. The gallery opens for visitors at 10:00 am that day, and sales begin at 6:00 pm. A full calendar of events can be found at www.prisonarts.org.
Participating artists who speak at the opening express gratitude to organizers and gallery visitors alike, stressing the show’s impact on their lives and the community at large. “I had no idea all the collected work together was so beautiful,” states one artist, now home. Another stated the community welcomed her as a returning citizen when she was released from prison: “It is the joy of my life to come to the Duderstadt Gallery every year to see the great prisoner created art and share community with friends in PCAP.” “Every year the show is more outstanding and world-class,” says another visual artist.
The highlight of this year’s show will be the keynote address given by Dr. Heather Thompson on March 28 from 7:00-8:30 pm: “The Attica Prison Uprising and Why it Matters Today.”
Dr. Thompson’s recent book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, has been profiled on television and radio programs across the country, was named a finalist for the National Book Award, has been named on 13 Best Books of 2016 lists including those compiled by The New York Times, Newsweek, Kirkus Review, the Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly, Bloomberg, the Marshall Project, the Baltimore City Paper, Book Scroll, and the Christian Science Monitor. Additionally, Blood in the Water was named on the Best Human Rights Books of 2016 list, and received starred reviews from Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly. Blood in the Water has also been optioned by TriStar Pictures and will be adapted for film by acclaimed screenwriters Anna Waterhouse and Joe Schrapnel.
Visitors are encouraged to make multiple visits to the gallery to take in the size and scope of artwork in the 22nd Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners. Exhibition hours are 12:00-6:00 pm Sunday-Monday and 10:00 am-7:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday in the Duderstadt Center Gallery, 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.