The ART Gallery
This showcase is an exhibition of a few select pieces from Initiate Justice’s Inside Members.
A celebration and showcase of abolitionist art by incarcerated Californians.
The ART Gallery is an exhibition of a few select pieces from Initiate Justice’s Inside Members. Our 45,000+ Inside Members make up over half of California’s prison population, and while that’s a big number, we’d like to take you behind that number, and introduce you to the activists behind it and their stories.
The 2023 ART Gallery
In 2023, we featured 6 incarcerated artists and showcased the work of dozens more during our in-person ART Gallery event. We were joined by community organizers, members, and the friends and families of the artists. Together we heard their stories of Abolition, Resistance, and Transformation. See Gerry, TOAST, Richard, Anh, Harold, and Paul’s artwork below and read what inspired them to create these pieces.
Abolition. Resistance. Transformation.
Initiate Justice is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending incarceration in California by the power of those most affected by the system – incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, and their loved ones. We teach, encourage, and uplift advocacy in many forms, because changing laws and changing culture must go hand-in-hand.
Our Inside Members often contribute art to fuel our staff and community. Several pieces are featured in each issue of The Inside Journal, an abolitionist and policy-focused newsletter that goes out four-times-a-year. Several pieces adorn our office.
We’re excited for this opportunity to expand the viewership of their art advocacy, and to introduce you to our Inside Members in their own words and expressions.
Artists in this showcase responded to a call for Abolition artworks, but in their stories we heard many tales of Resistance and Transformation, and so the name was born. We want to celebrate the connection between art and advocacy, and highlight again how our stories can be a force of positive change.
Our Inside Members joined Initiate Justice to stay connected with the many ways there are to fight incarceration. Almost 300 have taken our 12-week curriculum and become Inside Organizers. Thousands have sent in letters of legislative support to rally behind our bills, and thousands more send us regular mail to request resources for themselves and others.
Art is advocacy.
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
The 2022 ART Gallery
The 2022 ART Gallery was a virtual exhibition featuring 11 incarcerated artists throughout various California State Prisons.