A traveling photography exhibit entitled Prison Oscura makes its way to Olympia on Thursday, January 14 where it will show in the Evergreen State College Gallery through March 2.
Evergreen has built an entire winter quarter Library & Gallery series around the exhibit and will use the art to extend on-going college-wide inquiry concerning social justice, social inequalities, and race and racism. The series, Kept Out/Kept In, includes a Wednesday, January 27 lunchtime panel on prison libraries and art, to be held in the Communications Building Recital Hall and a Tacoma campus panel called “Formerly Incarcerated,” on Saturday, February 6, at 10am and 6pm.
The January 14 opening in Olympia features a guided walk-through with Prison Oscura’s curator, Pete Brook of Portland, Oregon. Brook’s talk will shed light on prisons and the incarcerated through rarely-seen surveillance, evidentiary, and prisoner-made photographs.
Ann Friedman, who runs Evergreen’s Gallery, said, “Prison Obscura calls upon its viewers to think deeply as they come face to face with the realities of prison life. The bodies of work in Prison Obscura collectively demonstrate the pervasiveness of prisons and the stresses of their ever-growing populations, while simultaneously asserting the humanity of incarcerated people and refusing to reduce them to symbols of a broken system.”
Prison Oscura has traveled throughout the United States, visiting higher education institutions such as Haverford College, University of Michigan and Scripps College, where it received excellent reviews in The LA Times.
The exhibit and related events are free and open to the public. The Evergreen Gallery is located on the Lobby floor of the Daniel J. Evans Library, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy, NW, Olympia. Parking is $2. The Tacoma panels take place at 1210 6th Ave, Tacoma, in the Lyceum Hall; parking is free.
Photo credit: Alyse Emdur