Giving Compass’ Take:
• Camille Pajot at The Marshall Project reports on the French artist JR who created a mural in conjunction with currently and formerly incarcerated people at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, California.
• How do the arts help incarcerated individuals build skills for their future? How can donors invest in prison education programs to better the future of these individuals?
For three days in October, giant faces were visible from the air over the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, California. They were portraits of 48 currently or formerly incarcerated people, correctional officers and victims of crimes, assembled in a large-scale mural made up of paper strips. A few days later the mural was gone, disintegrated by the Southern California wind and sun and carefully taken apart by the prisoners who live there. In collaboration with the men depicted in the artwork, the French artist JR created an ephemeral window into the lives of those affected by the U.S. prison system.
JR is known for installing images, often portraits, of gigantic scale in public spaces, including on the sides of buildings in Rio de Janeiro, in the plaza surrounding the Louvre museum and in Tecate at the border of Mexico and the United States. His projects are often created with the involvement of the communities he is portraying.
For the Tehachapi project, JR photographed portraits of the 48 people from above to create a sense of depth. He divided the images into 338 paper strips, each about 36 feet long, and worked with those who were photographed to glue the strips to the ground to assemble the mural.
Read the full article about prison art projects by Camille Pajot at The Marshall Project.
Since you are interested in Criminal Justice, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Criminal Justice?
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