All Saints Festival of Life
132 North Euclid Avenue
Pasadena, California 91101

On Friday, February 23, All Saint’s Church in Pasadena, CA began their three day annual Festival of Life. This year’s theme was “humanity Imprisoned, humanity transformed” a series of talks and discussions on the local and national prison problems featuring speakers and experts from all aspects of the struggle to reform prisons.

We were honored to have an exhibit of Pelican Bay SHU art at the opening reception, with statements of the artists displayed with their art. We also displayed an article by George Monbiot from the British Guardian newspaper, which cited Pelican Bay’s SHU as the local (to us) example of the massive denial of human rights present at Guantanamo. There was also art in the main reception room, from CA women’s prisons, which was very impressive, as well as an exhibit of international artists on the global prison tragedy, from the Center of Political Graphics, a local archive of hundreds of thousands of pieces of political art from all over the world.

It was the largest crowd we’ve had at an exhibition, and the response was overwhelming; attendees were moved by the art and the artists, whose statements, they said, spoke loud and clear. Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking” was the Festival’s keynote speaker. Her talk was great and her comment on the SHU art and artists, summed up why we do these shows:

No person is made up of one or two acts in their life, but by the sum total of their acts. One sees the humanity in the souls of these artists in the art they create...in the art on the walls tonight.