ArtWorks Gallery & Studio is a fully licensed Day Program for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. We offer waiver eligible services for adults with special needs.Celebrating the artist in each of us through fine art instruction, gallery exhibitions, that immerse people with developmental disabilities into a larger arts community that provide them diverse opportunities for fulfilling lives.
First Friday | May 2018
PYRRHIC DEFEAT - FROM THE ARTIST
Thank you for coming. As you contemplate the plight of the incarcerated, do not lose sight of the even more important issue: the suffering of the victims of crime.
Many of these men (the artist included) have committed crimes in which people were harmed. This wall includes men convicted of murder. It also includes a small number of men convicted of rape, although I tried to keep that crime minimally represented. Mostly, these men are in prison for drug-related crimes, DUI's, and other non-violent, low-level crimes, such as retail theft.
Our prison system is one seemingly designed to breed more violence by stockpiling and warehousing people who are then forced to sell their labor power for 19 cents/hr. You'd have to wonder, “How does this benefit the victims of their crimes?”
It surely doesn't. It only serves to keep the cycle of violence alive and profitable. But there is a way to help the victims. Our criminal justice system could turn away from retribution and towards restoration and rehabilitation. TRUE rehabilitation that instills a sense of self-worth in the men it once condemned.
I know that many of these men feel the same way that I do. They feel absolutely terrible for the hurt they have caused and would undo it in a heartbeat if only they knew how. Contrarily, I also am in a position to see so many incarcerated men being helped by the system to become angrier and angrier and more and more violent, as their basic dignities are stripped away. And it doesn't have to be this way.
This can not possibly be the answer.