Monday, January 16, 2017

Windows on Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, just a five-minute walk from the law school, is currently exhibiting over 70 works of art by famous American political cartoonists and death row inmates. Political cartoonist Patrick Chappatte and journalist Anne-Frederique Widmann curated the exhibit, Windows on Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls, which they intend to stimulate conversations around “politics, race, morality, and the question of equality under the law.”

What can you expect to see at the exhibit? According to The Political Cartoon, political (also known as editorial) cartoons should demonstrate artistic quality; genuine sentiment; fresh, uncomplicated imagery; and lasting importance. In other words, don’t expect to laugh, but do expect some dry, complex wit and exceptional artistic talent. The inmates’ works are more diverse in form and medium, yet each convey something about daily prison life, the criminal justice system, or the experience of lifelong incarceration with death as the most likely outcome (whether through execution or otherwise while in prison).

Many of the works can be viewed online if you are unable to make it to the Cartoon Library to see the images in person.