Exhibit will open in May at 101 Archer, located in Downtown Tulsa.
Curated by Lisa Loftus and Ellen Stackable, this show emerges from the extraordinary work done by Poetic Justice, an organization that sends volunteers into prison “to offer restorative writing and creative arts programs” for incarcerated women. With the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Loftus collaborated with 15 incarcerated individuals in California to produce extraordinary self-portraits. Here in Oklahoma cameras are not permitted in prisons, so Stackable has led the effort to create other kinds of self-portraits in sound, on canvas, and an array of surprising materials. Together, these images and objects tell a complex story of violence, anger, hope, and fundamental humanity.
Poetic Justice chose Oklahoma, in part, because it is one of the worst states in the nation for female incarceration, with 106 out of every 100,000 women being incarcerated. Here, as elsewhere in the United States, there is a disproportionately high representation of non-white women. These statistics not only signal a loss of freedom for these women, but also fragmented families who have lost daughters, mothers, and wives.
In a space of confinement, how can these women express themselves? How can and should their stories be told? How can we find freedom and humanity in the context of incarceration? This exhibit will explore these questions and more.
To learn more about Poetic Justice, click here.