Join us for a live Zoom talk and share with Risa Puleo, Curator ofWalls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the Justice Systemand participating artists, Sarah Ross and Damon Locks, on ongoing campaigns for prisoner release in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Inmate advocates and civil rights organizations across the country have demanded the early release of prisoners who are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic, as well as people currently in pretrial detention, to prevent a public health crisis. A series of lawsuits have been filed seeking potential release of thousands from Illinois prisons. Risa, Sarah and Damon will reflect on how their own communities are responding and how artists and cultural workers contribute to these efforts.
Zoom event information will be sent following your RSVP.
Risa Puleo is an independent curator and the mastermind behind Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the American Justice System, which was first shown at The Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Puleo has master’s degrees from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and Hunter College and is a doctoral candidate in Northwestern University’s art history program. She has written for Art in America, Art Papers, Art 21, Asia Art Pacific, Hyperallergic.com, Modern Painters and other art publications.
Sarah Ross, co-founder and co-director of Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project, which works at the intersection of art and justice, collaborating with incarcerated artists and writers to exhibit their work and engage in dialogue. PNAP is a grassroots project offering arts and humanities classes in Stateville Prison, a maximum security prison near Joliet, Illinois about 35 miles southwest of Chicago. Work developed in classes is then exhibited in Chicago area galleries and neighborhood spaces alongside events and discussions about mass criminalization, education, art and incarceration. Sarah has almost a decade of experience working with incarcerated people and has taught art and art history at various prisons in Illinois.
Damon Locks is a visual artist, educator, vocalist/musician, and deejay. Since 2014 he has been working with Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project (PNAP) teaching art at Stateville Correctional Center. Damon has designed sound for Free Street Theater, dancer and educator Onye Ozuzu’s Project Tool, and dancer Anna Martine Whitehead. He is a teaching artist with the School Partnership for Art and Civic Engagement (SPACE) program through the Museum of Contemporary Art, introducing civically engaged art into the curriculum at the Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy. His group Black Monument Ensemble has performed at the MCA, Garfield Park Conservatory, and the Chicago Cultural Center.