'PRISON' Mural @ Hunter East Harlem
In late June 2016, ARTE students from the High School for the Arts, Imagination & Inquiry created a mural to be featured in 'Visions of Confinement: A Lens on Women in the U.S. Prison System.'Over the course of just four work days, the group used street art techniques of wheat-paste and paint to create an effective and vibrant piece with a powerful message.
During spring semester, students examined issues of patriarchy and ways that gender inequality manifests in institutions. Part of this examination and research included our students preparing and delivering workshops on these issues to a group of middle school students involved in the Global Kids program in West Harlem.
In light of current events and media portrayals, students sought to create an impactful mural about how we speak and think about women in prison. The group pieced together found images from the internet to create a unified representation of the struggles and experiences many incarcerated women face each day.
'Visions of Confinement' opened on June 29, 2016 and will be on exhibition at CUNY Hunter East Harlem Gallery until September 10, 2016. The gallery features work from artists who were formally incarcerated or who experienced incarceration within their families or communities. The gallery will be turned into an "educational lounge" and will feature: a dialogue wall, artwork, a letter writing station, a listening station, a lounge area, and a small library inside the space– all of which address artistic meditations of how women experience living in confined spaces, life after release, and family and community interactions. The exhibit aims to cultivate conversations around female incarceration at a time when the U.S. criminal justice system is in tremendous need for reform.
A special thank you goes out to the following individuals: Social Worker Erika Sosa Klein, Artist Alex Gavryushenko, Visions of Confinement organizer Isaac Scott, and ARTE Interns Iona Tan and Diana Drogaris.
Check out photos of our process: