On January 11th, 2014, Marie Mason’s art will be on display alongside hundreds of other prisoners’ art as part of a month long exhibit entitled With Conviction: Art and Letters from Behind Prison Walls.
If you’re near Sacramento, make sure to check this out. Also, the organizers are fundraising to fly out Anthony Rayson and his partner Michael Ploski, who have collected most of the art that will be on display. If fundraised successfully, the two will be on hand for the opening to speak of the art collected and the politics and messages behind much of the work. You can contribute at the Kickstarter page here- http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/238264289/with-conviction-art-and-letters-from-behind-prison
The opening and exhibit at Chicago’s Suburban Gallery on Sept. 23 of Marie and Kelly Poe’s art was a grand success on several levels. To see the development of Marie’s painting from rudimentary to fine acrylic work during her imprisonment was particularly rewarding, but all of them contain a power born of her circumstances. Some are displayed on her website.
Our large “FREE MARIE” banner was hung on the gallery exterior wall in Oak Park, Ill. which greeted those attending the opening.
Added to this was Kelly’s photography and a single issue book she created. Neither word adequately describes what was exhibited. In 2006, Kelly began communicating with several imprisoned people serving long sentences for acts of eco-sabotage including Marie. She asked each of them, what place did they visualize during their incarceration which helped keep them sane?
After several years of writing back and forth, Kelly set out on a photographic journey to capture those images for six prisoners including Marie’s whose was a setting sun viewed from Empire, Michigan. The photo includes a post-sunset green flash seen frequently over Lake Michigan. Kelly had the photo transferred by a wallpaper outfit to a huge 8’X17’ pigment photo mural that almost sucks one into the sunset when you enter the gallery.
Also, Kelly constructed a 20″ x 24″ archival pigment printed and hand bound artist’s book weighing 30 pounds containing reproductions of her correspondence with the prisoners and assorted documents relevant to their cases or imprisonment.
Marie’s work was presented on a specially constructed display rack that Kelly commissioned and gave a sweep of her art in a relatively small space even though there were over 30 paintings. Each of them was on the back side of letters Marie had written to people from jail and were donated for the exhibit. Hence, none of them were more than 8”X11” in size.
Kelly Poe has curated an art showing of Marie’s paintings. The opening reception is at
125 North Harvey Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois 60302
September 23rd 2-4pm
The exhibit will remain open until October 21st.