Office of Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg
106 North Avenue 56
Los Angeles, ca 90042

The August 12th reception at CA State Assembleyperson Jackie Goldberg’s offices was the largest yet of Art Behind Bars, a showing of Art from the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison. Ten artists were represented with just under 40 pieces exhibited; each artist’s biography and statement was hung next to his work to give the show-goers a chance to get to know the men and their histories. We also displayed statistics on the current “living” conditions in the SHU and its cost to the CA taxpayers, and we provided some LA Times and NY Times articles on the state of prison reform in CA and the treatment of artists in solitary confinement.

Ms. Goldberg’s office scheduled the show during the monthly Artwalk in Highland Park, so we had a lot of interesting feedback from art-goers and even more interesting questions from them. Our comment book was full. Many members of the artist’s families were there, as well as the art-goers and friends of our host, so it was a lively and very friendly evening.

Ms. Goldberg spoke briefly, to welcome everyone and remind us of the costly CA prison system and the need for real and swift reform. She also spoke of the work of Art Release. Margie Ghiz, told about the history of Art Release and our plans for the future, including the use of prison art and the artists’ words to educate the public about the real state of prison affairs and the need for involvement and action.

The opening reception ran from 6 PM to 9:30 PM, with about 100 people streaming in and out all evening. Thanks to the GREAT office staff at Ms. Goldberg’s office, and to Ms. Goldberg herself, it was a beautiful and successful show.