Since 2017, when collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund bought Roy Lichtenstein’s Masterpiece (1962) for $165 million to start out the Art for Justice Fund, the initiative has labored to boost consciousness in regards to the inequities within the US prison justice system, change the discourse round mass incarceration, and to reform these methods by means of artwork.
Artwork for Justice, nonetheless, was at all times supposed to be a centered undertaking, with a deadline. (Initially, it was 5 years and later prolonged to 6 years.) Now, as this system begins to wrap up, it has given a grant for a big, undisclosed sum to the nascent Middle for Artwork & Advocacy, a corporation devoted to serving to artists who’ve been incarcerated or whose lives have been affected by the prison justice system that may in spirit function a successor to the Artwork for Justice Fund.
“Out of concern for the privateness of present and previous awardees, significantly those that could also be presently incarcerated, Artwork for Justice Fund shouldn’t be disclosing award quantities for grant recipients,” the group stated in a press release.
Late final 12 months, after US Supreme Court docket handed down its resolution in Dobbs v. Jackson Ladies’s Well being Group, which successfully overturned the Court docket’s landmark resolution in Roe v. Wade that granted the suitable to an abortion, Gund sold another Lichtenstein, Mirror #5 (1970), throughout a Christie’s night sale for $3.18 million. The proceeds of the sale had been matched by Artwork for Justice and donated to the Groundswell Fund, a serious funder of the Reproductive Justice Motion.
The brand new, artist-led, Middle for Artwork & Advocacy, which can be funded by the Mellon Basis, will encompass three packages: the Proper of Return Fellowship, the Academy, and the Residency. The Fellowship, which supplies six previously incarcerated artists and creatives funding annually, was launched in 2017 as a separate endeavor by artists Jesse Krimes and Russell Craig, each of whom frolicked within the prison justice system. Krimes has additionally been named function the Middle for Artwork & Advocacy inaugural govt director.
The Academy will function a college for writers, filmmakers, and artists, whereas the Residency will give alumni of the Middle’s different packages, in addition to social justice advocates from throughout the US, each short- and long-term stays at a forthcoming area in Northeast Pennsylvania.
“The launch of the Middle for Artwork & Advocacy marks a pivotal second within the struggle to finish mass incarceration,” Gund stated in a press release. “[We are] thrilled to assist our associate’s evolution right into a bodily hub with expanded programming, all devoted to remodeling the prison authorized system by means of the humanities.”
The Middle for Artwork & Advocacy will open its first location this fall in Brooklyn. Its board of administrators will embody Craig; Dwayne Betts, a poet, lawyer, and a previous Proper of Return fellow; artist Kate Capshaw; Kate Fowle, curatorial senior director at Hauser & Wirth; artwork collector and Brooklyn Museum trustee Stephanie Ingrassia; and Daveen Trentman, cofounder of the Soze Company, which helped launch the Proper of Return Fellowship with Krimes and Craig.
In a press release, Krimes stated, “I first imagined constructing a group of previously incarcerated artists whereas I used to be remoted in a jail cell. In a nation with 2 million folks behind bars, it’s abundantly clear what number of gifted artists are criminalized, incarcerated and locked out of artistic alternatives. I’m profoundly grateful to the Artwork for Justice Fund and Agnes Gund for believing within the energy of an artist-led motion and am honored to hold their legacy ahead with the Middle’s work.”