Reportback on “With Conviction: Art and Letters From Behind Prison Walls”

 

From With Conviction organizer Anthony Rayson-

Opening: Saturday, January 11; exhibit runs through February 9
Exhibit S, 547 L Street, Sacramento, Calif.

250 pieces of art were displayed, more than half of which, were originals. The room was large, 25 x 25 and had a separate portable wall that was fifteen feet. In an adjacent room, they screened pictures of the artwork on two opposite walls. The room was white with a 3 foot width black stripe from under your waist to over your head. That’s where the artwork was displayed in two and three rows.

Marie’s pieces and literature about her were the first thing you saw on the right, as you entered the room. There was a table for zines about her. A jazz combo played near where the art was being screened. Food was provided by Food Not Bombs and we had beer and wine. Lots of people were talking – a terrific vibe!

Sacramento Prisoner Support tabled next to a huge table I had, crammed with zines. A whole section were zines by California prisoners, who I have worked with extensively. A three strike prisoner, Eugene Dey, who I had collaborated with in the early 2000’s, had been released, unbeknownst to me, and lives in Sacramento, does terrific work and came and spoke, too! jenny spoke on behalf of Marie. She was terrific! I gave an address and my comrade, Mike spoke, as well. The whole show was videotaped and is being put together for a dynamite DVD by Lauren & Colin Swift of Lilac Neuron Media. I made a 64-paged zine of my presentation that I can send.

People were openly thrilled with the artwork, but very few bought any of it. [Marie’s were not for sale.] The gallery said it was the best attended show they ever had. People walked in while we were setting up and word of mouth spread around town. It was nicely promoted and I did some interviews and it was in the Sacramento News & Review free paper.

I left a ton of zines as well as the artwork. I wanted to have zines available out west for the upcoming San Francisco Anarchist Book Fair. I did several zines, shortly before I flew out there.