A picture of the hallway standing from the entrance of the front door in the direction of the back door. Two years (Pairing one, 1 of 2) A picture of the hallway standing from the entrance of the front door in the direction of the back door. Two years. (Pairing one, 2 of 2) Ellington St, Back of the house, from the driveway. Seven and a Half Years (Pairing two, 1 of 2) Ellington St, Back of the house, from the driveway. Seven and a Half Years (Pairing two, 2 of 2) Presson Blvd, My Room. Two Years and Three Months. (Pairing three, 1 of 2) Presson Blvd, My Room. Two Years and Three Months. (Pairing three, 2 of 2) When life is consumed by isolation and separation the only thing left is what if's. (Pairing four, 1 of 2) When life is consumed by isolation and separation the only thing left is what if's. (Pairing four, 2 of 2) Pocahontas State Park, Picture of the Dam. One Hundred and Thirty Days.  (Pairing five, 1 of 2) Pocahontas State Park, Picture of the Dam. One Hundred and Thirty Days.  (Pairing five, 2 of 2) I've been in prison for 19 years and just being able to see photos of the street would be a blessing.   (Pairing six, 1 of 2) I've been in prison for 19 years and just being able to see photos of the street would be a blessing.   (Pairing six, 2 of 2) If I had a window in my cell it will look at the Kennedy Recreation center on 7 street (between O & P streets) NW 20001. (Pairing seven, 1 of 2) If I had a window in my cell it will look at the Kennedy Recreation center on 7 street (between O & P streets) NW 20001. (Pairing seven, 2 of 2) Bryan Park, picture of the pond, fountain, and the bench beneath the willow tree. 4 years and three months. (Pairing eight, 1 of  2) Bryan Park, picture of the pond, fountain, and the bench beneath the willow tree. 4 years and three months. (Pairing eight, 2 of  2) Please take a photo of the front bay window, standing pose, so that as you peer into the window, as the story is read, one can imagine my daughters and I as well as grandsons are sitting on the opposite side of that window. One and a Half Years. (Pairing nine, 1 of 2) Please take a photo of the front bay window, standing pose, so that as you peer into the window, as the story is read, one can imagine my daughters and I as well as grandsons are sitting on the opposite side of that window. One and a Half Years. (Pairing nine, 2 of 2) Please go to Glenwood Cemetery, in Section K, and take a photo of my brother's tombstone. (Pairing ten, 1 of 2) Please go to Glenwood Cemetery, in Section K, and take a photo of my brother's tombstone. (Pairing ten, 2 of 2) I would like a photo taken of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s memorial located in downtown Washington DC. (Pairing  eleven, 1 of  2) I would like a photo taken of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s memorial located in downtown Washington DC. (Pairing  eleven, 2 of  2) Head down the Mt. Pleasant and  Lamont Street and take a picture of the supermarket Bestway. The one where all the hispanics go to shop...get the pic of this supermarket from across the street. (Pairing twelve, 1 of 2) Head down the Mt. Pleasant and  Lamont Street and take a picture of the supermarket Bestway. The one where all the hispanics go to shop...get the pic of this supermarket from across the street. (Pairing twelve, 2 of 2) Windows from Prison / Outdoor Workshop. Windows from Prison / Outdoor Workshop. Windows from Prison / Outdoor Workshop. Windows from Prison / Outdoor Workshop. Windows from Prison / Outdoor Workshop. Windows from Prisons by Mark Strandquist.

Windows From Prison Project 2015

LA PETITE MORT GALLERY presents

Windows From Prison, April 3 – 26, 2015
Vernissage – April 3, 7-10pm @ La Petite Mort Gallery

Curated by Guy Berube
Co-curator Adam Barbu.

Public Artist Talk – April 2, 1:30 – 2:30pm

University of Ottawa, 100 Laurier Building, Room 219

In partnership with the US Embassy in Ottawa, La Petite Mort Gallery will present an exhibition by American artist Mark Strandquist titled “Windows From Prison” on from April 3-26, 2015.

The artist will be visiting from the US to attend the opening and to facilitate the related public programs.

This project is funded through a U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy-Ottawa Public Affairs Section Grant.

In collaboration with MASC Ottawa (Multicultural Arts for Schools and Communities).

Silkscreened print posters produced in collaboration with Spins & Needles, Ottawa, Canada.

Collaboration by School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO)​ & thank you to Michael Tardioli​.

Thank you to the Ottawa School of Art​ & Guillermo Trejo​ for their assistance.

 

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“If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?”

This question was asked to individuals who are from Washington, DC but sent to prisons across the country. The corresponding photo requests were then fulfilled by students at George Mason University and Duke Ellington High School and mailed back to the incarcerated participants.

“Windows From Prison” utilizes photography as a way to bridge this distance while creating space and humanistic entry points for students, faculty, NGO’s, family members of incarcerated individuals, former prisoners, and policy makers to engage with the sources, impacts, and alternatives to mass incarceration.

The version of the project being exhibited at La Petite Mort Gallery will include twelve of the original photographs and corresponding letters and instructions from the prisoners. It will also include an installation of handmade objects derived from workshops and correspondences facilitated through prisons across the US. Finally, the artist will produce an interactive outreach component where visitors can send letters to currently incarcerated individuals.
On April 2, to anticipate the exhibition opening at La Petite Mort Gallery, Mark Strandquist will deliver a free, public artist talk at the University of Ottawa focusing on the theme of “photography as social practice.” Later in the evening, in collaboration with MASC Ottawa (Multicultural Arts for Schools and Communities), the artist will facilitate a workshop with at-risk teens living in Ottawa.

Statement:
“If you could have window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?” This question is asked to individuals who are from Washington, DC area but sent to prisons across the country. The corresponding photo requests are then fulfilled by students at George Mason University and Duke Ellington High School and mailed back to the incarcerated participants.

When individuals from Washington, DC are placed in the federal penitentiary system they can be sent to any prison across the country (potentially thousands of miles away from family or friends). Windows From Prison* utilizes photography as a way to bridge this distance while creating space and humanistic entry points for students, faculty, NGO’s, family members of incarcerated individuals, former prisoners, and policy makers to engage with the sources, impacts, and alternatives to mass incarceration.

In 2014, from April 7th-21st, the images and corresponding prisoner’s writing were printed on 12×9 ft banners. These were then displayed on campus in GMU’s central public square (in the grassy area between the Fenwick Library and Sub 1). The banners were placed in a circular design so that that the photos created and carved out a real and symbolic space for a multidisciplinary group of GMU scholars, policy/justice activists, artists, and community members. The public exhibition included an expansive set of public programs, events, debates, and brainstorming sessions (info below).

Mirroring the project’s ethos, the exhibit didn’t seek to impose information upon a community, but to create avenues and space for local knowledge to emerge, complicate, and activate the project’s artistic and civic potential. The exhibit included an extensive set of public events, workshops, film screenings and community forums. Click here for additional images, audio, and additional information.

*The project was awarded a 2013 Photowings/Ashoka Foundation Insight project grant and is a partnership with Free Minds DC, George Mason University’s School of the Arts, GMU’s VA Writing Project, The Washington Project for the Arts, and Duke Ellington High School.

PRESS:

New York Times: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/windows-without-prison-bars/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/10/06/what-d-c-prison-inmates-wish-they-could-see-from-behind-bars/

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Mark Strandquist, is an artist, activist, and teacher who has spent years using art as a vehicle for connecting diverse communities to build empathy and support social justice movements. For his ongoing project Windows From Prison, images requested by prisoners are collaboratively produced and then publicly exhibited to spark dialogue and action around criminal justice issues. Since its initial iterations in the fall of 2012, Windows From Prison has expanded into interactive exhibits in several states, a national postcard-exchange program, a high school curriculum, and various public installations that have brought thousands of individuals together with prisoners across the country. Beyond impacting direct participants through a highly collaborative process, the project has received multiple awards, fellowships, and reached wide audiences through the NY Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, PBS Newshour, and a multitude of other media outlets.

Mark Strandquist, is an artist, activist, and teacher who has spent years using art as a vehicle for connecting diverse communities to build empathy and support social justice movements. For his ongoing project Windows From Prison, images requested by prisoners are collaboratively produced and then publicly exhibited to spark dialogue and action around criminal justice issues. Since its initial iterations in the fall of 2012, Windows From Prison has expanded into interactive exhibits in several states, a national postcard-exchange program, a high school curriculum, and various public installations that have brought thousands of individuals together with prisoners across the country. Beyond impacting direct participants through a highly collaborative process, the project has received multiple awards, fellowships, and reached wide audiences through the NY Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, PBS Newshour, and a multitude of other media outlets.

The project was most recently produced with the New School and Parsons in NYC and current versions are being produced with the University of Michigan and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond VA.

He currently teaches art and activism at Virginia Commonwealth University, co-founded the website Photography as a Social Practice, and co-directs the public art and advocacy project The People’s Paper Co-op.

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