Seeing the Sky : Art Exhibit from Prisoner Express

The Prisoner Express is proud to announce its 7th annual prisoner art exhibition displaying the work of prisoners throughout the United States.


at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
at the Big Red Barn
Ithaca, NY 14850

The artwork from several projects from the past year will be presented.

Prison is a place of disorientation. In the “Points of a Compass” art project, the prisoner is asked to orient themselves in relationship to the earth. The curriculum asks, “Where is the horizon in prison? How does the earth reveal itself to you? How do you see the sky? Where is the sun when you wake up in the morning?” – question that implies, “Yes, you have a place in this world.” The drawings are the prisoners answers.

Another art project asks the prisoner to create a series of self-portraits in underscoring the fluidity of the self through different aspects of portraiture. This is based upon the experience that the self is always changing; an experience of which stands in total opposition to the basic premise of incarceration that does not allow a changing self.

The work of several artists who have been continuous in their active participation with the arts of Prisoner Express will be highlighted also.

At Prisoners Express we receive so many letters from so many people who are incarcerated throughout the United States. With these letters, there are often postscripts that suggests the prisoner has not seen the sky for some time – as in Robert’s p.s. “I haven’t seen the sky for 10 years, When you go out today – look up at it for me.”

For more information about this show or the Prisoner Express project email us at

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Ryan Clover-Owens

I'm on a mission to prove that we can live in a society that reconciles with our history, respects difference, cherishes the land and animals, and can create solutions to the challenges we face.