SU Art Museum’s New Exhibit Addresses Inequality and Injustice Among Incarcerated Women

A new exhibit that intimately examines the experiences of women currently and formerly incarcerated in Louisiana by sharing stories of loss, hope, despair, survival, triumph and perseverance has debuted at Syracuse University Museum of Art from January 18. “Per (Sister): Women Incarcerated in Louisiana » explores one of the most critical issues of inequality and injustice currently facing the nation through the lens of an often overlooked population.

Featuring works by more than 30 artists from across the country, including MaPó Kinnord, Amy Elkins, Lee Diegaard, L. Kasimu Harris, Devin Reynolds, Jackie Sumell, Carl Joe Williams and Cherice Harrison-Nelson, “By (sister)” runs until March 11.

“These works of art, with their wide range of media, showcase the power of storytelling and highlight their ability to spark cross-disciplinary conversations not only about the complexities and inequalities of the American justice system, but also about the ongoing, generational impact of incarceration,” says Melissa Yuen. , curator of the Syracuse University Museum of Art.

“By (Sister)” is a traveling exhibition produced by the Tulane University Newcomb Museum of Art in New Orleans, Louisiana. The exhibition was curated under the direction of former museum director Monica Ramirez-Montagut (current executive director of the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University) and assisted by curator Laura Blereau. It was developed in equal partnership with Syrita Steib and Dolfinette Martin with additional support provided by Operation Restoration and Women with a Vision.

The exhibition features works by over 30 artists based on the personal stories of 30 formerly and currently incarcerated women, interviewed by museum staff. “By (sister)” aims to look beyond the statistics and shine a light on their stories in order to understand the injustice of the criminal justice system in the United States.

The exhibition is divided into four sections that explore the causes of women’s incarceration, the impact of incarceration of mothers, the physical and behavioral toll of incarceration, and the challenges and opportunities for reintegration for formerly incarcerated women. .

These themes bring together diverse works – including voice recordings, photographic portraits, informative illustrations, sculptures, paintings, songs and performances – to create an exhibition that incorporates the voices of Persisters and artists while highlighting statistics collected from the Vera Institute of Justice, Prison Policy Initiative, the Sentencing Project, Bureau of Justice Statistics and others. Tulane faculty and students, directly affected people, and community stakeholders have contributed time and knowledge to the exhibit.

Upcoming Special”By (sister)” Events

Per(Sister) Curator Talk with Monica Ramirez-Montagut

January 29, 1-2 p.m. (Zoom)

By (sister) in conversation

Melissa Yuen and PerSister co-producers of the exhibition Dolfinette Martin and Syrita Steib

February 9, 3 p.m. (Zoom)

Collage community: artistic creation as a restorative practice

February 10, 6 p.m. (Zoom)

February 24, 6 p.m., SUArt Museum

Join us virtually (February 10) and in person at SU Art (February 24) as we explore and respond to (By)sister. RSVP to [email protected] by January 28 to receive a bundle of quilt materials with which you can creatively use your reaction to the exhibit and its themes after a virtual demonstration and gallery talk. So join us in person as we come together as a community to connect our unique responses and reactions in solidarity.

Women’s imprisonment and prison reform priorities

Join us for a Bond, Schoeneck & King series panel discussion on race and justice in central New York on the intersectionality of gender, race and incarceration, followed by a reception at Art Museum.

Featured panelists: Colleen Gibbons, JD, PhD, Prof. Paula Johnson, Esq., Nikieka Brown, Matthew Mayers, Molly Graham and Jameela Suleiman. Moderated by Professor Lauryn Gouldin.

Thursday, February 17, 5:30 p.m.

214 Slocum Hall

Check the museum’s website for more public programs that will be added in the coming weeks https://museum.syr.edu/calendar/

About Margaret L. Portillo

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