Skip to Content

18th Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners

MPAS 2013
Image: Tim Brownell, My Escape 

Eighteenth Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners
March 19 — April 32013
Opening Reception: March 19th, 5:30 — 8 pm
Exhibition Hours: 10 am — 7 pm Tuesday — Saturday, and 12 pm — 6 pm Sunday — Monday
Duderstadt Center Gallery, 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard

The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) presents the Eighteenth Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners. Running from March 19 — April 3, 2013, the show will be held at the Duderstadt Center Gallery on the University of Michigan North Campus at 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard. Over the past 18 years, this nationally recognized show has grown to be the largest exhibition of prisoner art in the country. This year’s exhibition will include more than 300 works of art by over 200 artists, shedding light on the talents to be found behind prison walls and encouraging the public to take a second look.

In connection to the University’s theme semester on Race, this year’s exhibition gave artists the opportunity to submit work relating to Race. The curators asked artists how they respond to challenges about one’s race, either individually or collectively. The hope is that art that responds to this question will facilitate dialogue where artists and viewers will grapple with the issue and where viewers in the gallery can dialogue with one another in a fruitful and beneficial way.

Free and open to the public, the exhibition and surrounding educational events raise awareness and inspire dialogue between the incarcerated and the community at large. The public is invited to an opening reception on March 19th from 5:30 — 8 p.m. in the gallery. Formerly incarcerated artists who have now re-entered into the community will speak about what the show means to those in prison. 

Participating artists express gratitude to organizers and gallery visitors alike, stressing the show’s impact on their lives and the community at large. I believe that your program gives the public a glimpse into the type of things that inspire even the most downtrodden of us all” writes one artist. When people see our work, for a few moments, they forget that this work was done by a felon, but by another human being. A human being who has the same thoughts, emotions, and inspirations as they do, and for that one moment, a major social and political barrier is shattered.”

This year’s exhibition, curated by Buzz Alexander, Janie Paul, Sari Adelson, and Charlie Michaels, exhibits work from over forty prisons throughout the state. The curators, along with various volunteers, travel to these prisons and hand select the strongest work from the artists. As a result of this annual event, the amount of art created in Michigan prisons has increased dramatically, and Michigan prison artists have become national leaders, inspiring others to create art behind bars.

The exhibition is to be accompanied by the release of the 5th Annual Literary Review of Creative Writing by Michigan Prisoners, And Still You Expect Greatness. Readings of works from the publication by formerly incarcerated individuals are set to take place both in Ann Arbor and in the Detroit area, and youth from Detroit will join us for a dialog about what’s on their minds, as they speak about their lives and their communities. For full schedule of events please contact the PRISON CREATIVE ARTS PROJECT.

Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. — 7 p.m. Tuesday — Saturday, and 12 p.m. — 6 p.m. Sunday — Monday. 

For more information, contact Sari Adelson.