Out of Prison, Making Art

The 10th Annual Alumni Exhibition of the
Community Partners in Action Prison Arts Program

Welcome. This exhibition (online this year!) is an ongoing collaboration between CPA’s Prison Arts and the Russell Library, celebrating the work of artists reentering our community. Together, we hope to dignify, encourage, and broadcast the work of these artists. We believe this is important artwork.

For the artists, this work is a way to move forward, and, it is evidence of their dynamic ability to shape their own lives. These artists are taking positive action – beyond the ordinary.

For the rest of us, this artwork is a vivid reminder that people, just like us, and living among us, are working things out, working to move past prison, working to be responsible, working to embrace goodness, and working to be embraced by goodness.

For everyone, this artwork is reason to be hopeful – and oh how we need that right now! This year has turned us upside down and inside out. But, we are still going.

Prison Arts continues to build and maintain a positive environment in prison, through correspondence and collaborations with prison staff. We are setting up virtual group meetings for alumni artists, on the outside, as well. This has also been a year of remarkable success. Seven artists, including two in this exhibition, helped to illustrate an edition of The Washington Post Sunday Magazine. Another alumni artist, Michael Iovieno, is presently included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art PS1, in New York. What will the next year bring? We look forward, with hope!

Jeffrey Greene, Prison Arts Program Manager, Community Partners in Action

Thank you to Susan Honer, Mary Datillo and everyone at the Russell Library. Thank you to the CT Department of Correction, J Walton Bissell Foundation, Common Sense Fund, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut Community Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and so many generous individuals, organizations, and businesses! You can help too! https://cpa-ct.org/donations/

Below you will find a video from alumni artist Andrew Wilson, a gallery of drawings and paintings, and, below that, photographs and video of a sculpture from Jon Jay Arnold. Enjoy!

Art Work

Andrew Wilson, Coronavirus Public Service Announcement: Social Distance – Maybe It Is a Good Idea (Early Version), animated video, 2020

Ancient

Ramon Burgós Jr., Mixed media on canvas, 11” x 11”2020

“From the top left see a Roman horse. On the upper right is a red eye of a rhino. In the center observe the shark eating a green eel. Bottom right is a matrix head. On the bottom left, see the metallic face.”

My Beloved

Ramon Burgós Jr., Mixed media on Bristol board, 9” x 11.375”,  2020

“Observe the male figure on the left, part of the face looks like an oak or maple leaf. The female figure on the right has a pearl necklace, her golden-brown hair looks like dry wheat or hay in a field. Above her head is a blue leaf. Between the figures is a heart, half red, for their fiery love, and blue for their tenderness. Their lips gently touch.”

Mystic

Ramon Burgós Jr., Mixed media on canvas, 10” x 12” 2020

“I see the mystical everywhere. Beginning from the upper left is a purple cobra. Towards the top center, the blue scales are a face. Beside this, see an angel/bird. On the far upper right is a golden/purple octopus. Below the octopus is a grey, rock face shedding tears. On the bottom left is a green/blue cat. Let your imagination lead you to the endless images to be seen.”

"Shabach,” Let everything that has breath praise the Lord

Ramon Burgós Jr., Mixed media on canvas, 15.75” x 15.75”, 2020

“In the upper left there is a grey elephant trunk and a genie, with two heads, coming out of the genie lamp. In the center is a frog. In the upper right is a chicken. The center has a golden crocodile. The lower right has a penguin. In the lower bottom see an upside-down silhouette of a person with arms raised. Imagine much more.”

Sweet Melody

Ramon Burgós Jr., Mixed media on canvas, 15.75” x 15.75”, 2020

“Lower right is an owl head that turns into a fish going to the deep. Towards the lower center is a dog. At the bottom left, see the violin and musical notes with raindrops flowing over it. At the upper left corner are 2 exotic birds’ heads. Upper center is a dove and its wings. Upper right is a face that transforms into a bird.”

Treasures of the Deep

Ramon Burgós Jr., Mixed media on canvas board, 12” x 16”, 2020

“A seahorse/fish abstact in a coral reef abstract.”

She Was Born to Gather Wild Roses

Ryan Carpenter, pen on Bristol board, 11” x 14”, 2020

Tethered

Ryan Carpenter, pen on paper, 24” x 18”, 2020

Untitled

Ryan Carpenter, Untitled, pen on paper, 24” x 18”, 2020

City Stars

Ilda Cruz, pen on Bristol board, 9″x12″ 2020

COVID 19

Ilda Cruz, pen and colored pencil on Bristol board, 9” x 12”, 2020

Hugging Heaven

Ilda Cruz, pen and colored pencil on Bristol board, 9” x 12”, 2020

Moon and Stars

Ilda Cruz, pen and colored pencil on Bristol board, 9” x 12”, 2020

Mother and Seed

Ilda Cruz, pen on Bristol board, 11” x 14”, 2020

Shattered Pieces

Ilda Cruz, pen on Bristol board, 9” x 12”, 2020

Trapped

Ilda Cruz, pen and colored pencil on Bristol board, 9” x 12”, 2020

Women of the World

Ilda Cruz, pen and colored pencil on Bristol board, 9” x 12”, 2020

Inhumanati 4-11-2020

Pedro Martin DeClet, charcoal, acrylic and enamel on canvas, 36” x 36”, 2020.

Inspired by past, current, and future events. Started on my birthday, 4-7-2020

Burning with Love

Sally Dougherty, mixed media on paper, 26” x 39”, 2019

Flowers for Your Momma

Sally Dougherty, mixed media on paper, 14” x 17”, 2019

God Save Us

Gerald Filyaw, acrylic on canvas, 11” x 14”, 2020

Success Keeps Climbing

Gerald Filyaw, acrylic on canvas, 11” x 14”, 2020

Untitled Drawing 1

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Michael Iovieno is included in the exhibition “Marking Time, Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” at the Museum of Modern Art’s PS1, in New York. The exhibition runs through April 4th, 2021.

Untitled Drawing 2

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Untitled Drawing 3

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Untitled Drawing 4

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Untitled Drawing 5

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Untitled Drawing 6

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Untitled Drawing 7

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Untitled Drawing 8

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Untitled Drawing 9

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Untitled Drawing 10

Michael Iovieno, digital drawing, size variable, 2020

Just a Flick

Lee Jupina, pen on Bristol board, 8” x 7.25”, 2019

Lee Jupina helped to illustrate the November 3rd 2019 issue of The Washington Post  Sunday Magazine.

No More

Lee Jupina, pen on Bristol board, 9” x 6”, 2019

Slipping Away

Lee Jupina, pen on Bristol board, 11” x 14”, 2019

The Power of Grace

Renee Peterson, The Power of Grace, acrylic on four canvases, 25” X 25”

“I was incarcerated for five years, and have been out for two years this December.

I never want to go back to prison, although many good things have come out of my experience there. The title of the painting is “The Power of Grace.” I was thinking about what the painting means to me, and since I was very young I’ve always been captivated by jellyfish, and ocean life in general. Jellies have such a grace and tranquility to them. Through my entire experience of going to prison, living there, and losing the life I had once I returned home, I’ve applied those words (grace, tranquility) to my life and the way I’ve handled what I’ve been through.

When I was in prison, I saw countless people leave and come back, time and time again. I didn’t want that to be me, and I realized it’s the way you choose to deal with things. I chose to handle ever day with as much grace as I possibly can. And with that I’ve now never been happier with the way my life turned out to be. Some days are struggles, but you have to keep a positive attitude and choose to be happy and make things work for the best. And that state of mind I truly believe is why I have such a wonderful life today.”

Renee Peterson helped to illustrate the November 3rd 2019 issue of The Washington Post  Sunday Magazine.

The Last Obstacle

Jose “Nando” Rivera, 2020, pen on Bristol board, 17” x 14”, 2019

Wolf Peaks

Jose “Nando” Rivera, pen on Bristol board, 9” x 12”, 2019

Be There For Each Other

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

Break Away

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

Every Breath I Take

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

Falling Apart

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

Crazy for Your Love!

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

How Do I Get Away?

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

Nothing Is Impossible

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2019

Nowhere To Run To?

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

Pissed Off!

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

So Broken

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

We Stood Tall for God

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2019

What on Earth?

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

What to Do?

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2019

Why Are You Doing This?

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

You Need Friends!

Nina Robinson, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2020

Alphabet

Steven Shaw, Alphabet, mixed media on paper, 14” x 17”, 2020

“My first year home has been a huge transition. I’ve been working on myself, but I always make time for my artwork. I now have access to so many supplies and resources. I contribute a lot of my newfound ambition to CPA’s Prison Arts. I have made it a point to paint every possible chance, whether planned or not. Next year will be bigger murals and larger productions with many other artists. Stay tuned in 2021…”

KANE, Skater's Haven

Steven Shaw, KANE, Skater’s Haven, Hartford, spray paint on wall, 2020

“This was painted at Skater’s Haven in Hartford, a legal graffiti safe haven set up by Juju Camacho from Trinity College.”

KANE, Skater's Haven

Steven Shaw, KANE, Skater’s Haven, Hartford, spray paint on wall, 2020

“I’ve been spending time with my kids at Skater’s Haven.”

My Personal Rollercoaster

Mary Sheridan, pen and colored pencil on Bristol board, 18” x 24”, 2019

Sculpture

Fruits of Ill Will, Jon Jay Arnold, metal sculpture 2020

Fruits of Ill Will, Jon Jay Arnold, metal sculpture 2020

Jon Jay Arnold, Fruits of Ill Will, metal sculpture, 2020