Beyond the Blue
We are pleased to announce the exhibition Beyond the Blue and accompanying panel What’s in a Name? as part of the Art and Restorative Justice panel series at CB1 Gallery from July 22 through September 2, 2017 with an opening reception at the gallery on Saturday, July 22, 2017 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. This will be the second major exhibition organized by the CSUSB Prison Arts Collective following the program’s well-received 2016 exhibition and accompanying publication, Through the Wall: Prison Arts Collective. Demonstrating the diversity of artistic styles and depth of creative expression among artists that are incarcerated, this exhibition will provide the unique opportunity for viewers to engage with works created by those participating in university-led arts programming while incarcerated.
This multidisciplinary exhibition will showcase dozens of paintings, drawings, and handmade objects created by participants in the California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) Community-based Art (CBA) Prison Arts Collective project in response to five distinct, unifying themes including:
- Alternative Materiality
- Collaboration and Partnerships
- Line as Language
- Dreams, Imagination, and the Surreal
- The Experience of Incarceration
Expanding beyond the all-inclusiveness of Through the Wall, Beyond the Blue will include select works organized around specific themes determined by investigating the working practices of artists in the weekly programs. Rebutting the otherness and invisibility so frequently attributed to incarcerated artists, Beyond the Blue seeks to dismantle the stigma of outsider art through the serious consideration of work being produced by CBA participants within correctional facilities.
Reflective of the collaborative and non-hierarchal spirit of CBA programming, the exhibition will highlight artworks by those participating at all levels and working in a variety of media. This includes participants in advanced critique classes who have taught themselves formal artistic skills while incarcerated and gained art historical context for their practice as well as those only just emerging in their artistic experience.
A majority of works featured have been donated by the artists with the dual goal of sharing their work with a wider audience and raising funds to support ongoing CBA programming in prisons and in the community. Viewers are invited to participate through a written or visual reflection in a collaborative response book, an informal tour with a Teaching Artist, and/or by purchasing a work of art with all proceeds going directly to support ongoing CBA Prison Arts Collective classes.
All artworks are made by CBA participants in the Prison Arts Collective projects at six CA state prisons including the CA Institution for Men (CIM) and the CA Institution for Women (CIW) in Chino, the CA State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC) in Lancaster, the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) in Norco, and the Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) and the Ironwood State Prison (ISP) in Blythe.
About CSUSB Community-based Art
CSUSB Community-based Art is dedicated to facilitating art throughout the local community at sites that would not otherwise have access to it, including after school programs for at-risk children, shelters for youth, low-income housing for seniors, and correctional facilities including state prisons, the CSUSB Reentry Center, and County Probation. On campus, students learn about the social, cultural, and economic barriers to access to art. On site, students, alumni, and volunteers shift the paradigm by facilitating art with populations that are vulnerable and at-risk.
Because of the large number of artists included in this exhibition and the fact that many remain anonymous due to either personal or institutional choice, the artists’ names are included with the works list as available by artist’s choice. Please note: all participating artists from the California Institution for Women are listed by first name only upon request from that institution.
This exhibition is co-organized by April Baca and Annie Buckley with installation design by Humberto Reynoso. Organization support was given by the graduate student research assistants: Timothy Hearans and Heather Roessler and CBA Site Leads: Jessica Agustin, Diana Hernandez, Jenny Montenegro, and Christina Quevedo. CB1 Gallery owner and Community-based Art Advisory Council member, Clyde Beswick, was instrumental in implementing this exhibition.