Please enjoy the artwork of individuals we have interviewed while incarcerated. Their palate provides insight into the struggles incarcerated people face while revealing their life behind the bars. The art within this gallery gives our artists an outlet to express their thoughts, feelings, pains and dreams in a positive way that may not be possible in any other form. The art you see here is their outlet. They use seven elements to create: line, color, value, shape, form, space, and texture. We hope their work will expand your knowledge, understanding and appreciation surrounding the difficulties incarcerated individuals endure.
I want to be a productive member of society, not one that brings destruction. I’m putting this into practice. I am working to help people in the outside world through my art because I want to make amends to all those I have hurt.
Artist Kelvin, 61Incarcerated: 18 years Housed: San Quentin State Prison Artist Bio & InspirationI am a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, from Richmond, California. My inspiration for art was born from my experiences,...
Artist Kenneth, 69Incarcerated: 23 years Housed: Stateville Correctional Center, Joliet, Illinois I express my reality through art and poetry. My biggest regret is failing my son. I take responsibility for him sitting in the cell right above me....
Through art I found a connection to my son. And through drawing I guided him to express his feelings in a positive way.
Jim “Fuzzy”, 65
We know anything coming from a prisoner is unheard of, society only ever hears of negatives, never positive, but some behind bars are capable of empathy, remorse and lifting up others from despair.
Man, for the next twenty years that idiot would periodically come out, naked as usual, asking if they looked like they were hanging. Worry wart! And they say women are vain.
Artist Thomas, 52Incarcerated: 27 years Tell us when you first became interested in art? It's a really funny story, how I fell in love with art. When I was nine, my father had a friend who was a painter. At the time my family had just moved into...
Artist Sean, 34 At 17, I was transferred from juvenile hall to the county jail and held in isolation. The day after my 18th birthday I was moved into a dorm full of adult men. I was young and scared. I met two men who I would eventually be...
Artist Raul, 63Paper Coffee Painting How do I paint with coffee? Instead of paint with brushes, I use a paperclip to paint. Using the tip and slanting the paper clip sideways paint larger spaces. It is tedious work and requires patience and a...
Anthony R’s Gallery
Artist Anthony, 32My story is similar to a lot of people who know what it’s like to want more out of life, while struggling to become the best version of themselves. However, the road I traveled wasn’t paved with blue skies and flowers. I grew up...