A Prison Art Book to Reform the Prison System

2020 will be remember as the year the world shifted into the COVID-19 pandemic, but for us, it was also the beginning of it all.

The new pandemic and uncertainty surrounding it caused the world to pause. This stopped our recent development, but never dit it deter us from our goal. More than ever, with visitation cancelled and 24h lock down, incarcerated artists will need - almost to a vital extent - an occupation for their minds.

It’s in this context that in partnership with Inked Magazine, we launched our national prison art contest across all correctional facilities in the country with the ultimate goal to gather enough art to publish a coffee table art book.

Thanks to a successful mailing campaign and Inked Magazine being popular with the incarcerated population, the word eventually got out. And weeks after weeks, we would receive more new art pieces.

Our national art contest closed on May 2021, after receiving over 400 amazing artworks. On August 5th, we announced the 100 winners who will be featured in the art book and launch our crowdfunding to support the publishing costs. This day was also when we revealed our interactive mural in Denver’s Rino District – a collage of all 400 artworks superimposed on the Statue of Liberty behind bars. The message was clear – these artists behind walls are extremely talented and it is time to denounce the use of mass incarceration in the US.  

This event was also marked by Colorado DOC Executive Director Dean Williams’s speech, expressing his support for our work and vouching the importance of transforming our criminal justice system to a collaborative mindset rather than punitive.

His supportive speech was a reflection of the many months of close work with him and Colorado DOC to change the rules here. In September 2021, a milestone was finally achieved as we became officially the first external company allowed to contract with incarcerated individuals. The next step for us, is to facilitate the implementation of this prison reform in the other 49 States. The Coffee Table Art Book will be our ambassador for this cause.

Unfortunately, we did not meet our goals with the crowdfunding but are still determined to self-publish this year. We are aiming to release the book in the Fall this year.

  • "As above so below" - Nicholas Showers-Glover

  • "Heidi Lamar" - Albert Valerio

  • "Paula Picassa" - Donald "C-Note" Hooker

  • "The split of America - our identity" - Ricardo Torres

  • "Family" - Eric Liechti

  • "Forever Kobe" - Jose Antone III

  • "Parrot" - Ronald Dain Harris

  • "Days wasted" - Alfredo Villegas

  • "Ligature Lisa the tattooist" - Andrew Gonzales

  • "1349" Clifton Garrett Sherer

  • "It" - Eddie Edward Lona

  • "Judy Garland" - Jared Riley

  • "Jaguar Knight" - Ralph John Bermudez

  • "Clown" - Tony Carrera

  • "Wanna play?" - Victor Zapien

  • "Lebron James" - Albert Gallegos

  • "Too Sick" - Arthur Espinoza

  • "Untitled" - Chad Merrill

  • "Johnny Cash" - Christopher Sullivan

  • "Miss Liberty" - Corey Dean Wagner

  • "Invia" - Dexter Lewis

  • "Tuesday" - Jacob Carlock

  • "Captain of her own fate" - Jeremy Moss

  • "Woman" - Joaquin Mares

  • "Windows to the soul" - The Exile

  • "Dark Whispers" - Jonathan Emery

  • "Catnoise Huntress" - Marc Daniel Gibbons

  • "My contribution" - Mario Rios

  • "Dark road ahead" - Monroe Taylor

  • "Toshogu Shrine" - Owen Hayburn

  • "Rooting out of my mind" - Patrick Suchayia

  • "Branching out" - Paul Garuin

  • "Dixie Rose" - Ryan Austin Lee

  • "Dance, dance, dance" - Samuel Mullikin

  • "Toy crushers" - Timothy Montoya

  • "Can't miss what you can't see" - Westley Ybarra

  • "Milk and Honey" - Zeth Phillips

  • "The price of beauty" - Andrew Dusha

  • "Hot Rod" - Claude Johnson

  • "Wishram Indian" - Joseph Yasurek

  • "Time redemption" - Thedore Blount

  • "Politico-Economy of the mass media" - Abigail Cook

  • "Walls talking" - Chauncy Jewett

  • "Finding myself" - Jennifer Miller

  • "By any means" - Andrew Reyes

  • "Galaxy girl" - Cortez Dixon

  • "Hope" - Rene Flores

  • "Bard Black & Grey" - James Lepant

  • "Reality imagined" - Robert Vance

  • "Untitled" - William D. Troyer

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