Faculty from all disciplines are invited to apply for a pilot Faculty Fellows Program being hosted this summer by the Syracuse University Art Museum. The program focuses on object-based teaching and research. It is both a way for the art…
New Syracuse University Art Museum Exhibition Addresses Inequality and Injustice Among Incarcerated Women
A new exhibition that intimately examines the experiences of currently and formerly incarcerated women in Louisiana by sharing stories of loss, hope, despair, survival, triumph and persistence debuted at Syracuse University Art Museum beginning on Jan. 18. “Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana” explores one of the most critical issues of inequality and injustice currently facing the nation through the lens of a population often overlooked.
Featuring works from more than 30 artists from across the country including MaPó Kinnord, Amy Elkins, Lee Diegaard, L. Kasimu Harris, Devin Reynolds, Jackie Sumell, Carl Joe Williams and Cherice Harrison-Nelson, “Per(Sister)” runs through March 11.
“These artworks, with their wide range of media, highlight the power of storytelling and foreground their ability to spark interdisciplinary conversations about not only the complexities and inequities of the American justice system but also the continued and generational impact of incarceration,” says Melissa Yuen, curator of the Syracuse University Art Museum.
We look forward to sharing the PerSisters’ lived experiences and the art they inspired with the Syracuse campus community. —Melissa Yuen, Syracuse University Art Museum curator
“Per(Sister)” is a traveling exhibition produced by the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. The exhibition was curated under the leadership of former museum director Monica Ramirez-Montagut (current executive director of Michigan State University’s Broad Art Museum) and assisted by curator Laura Blereau. It was developed in equal partnership with Syrita Steib and Dolfinette Martin with additional support provided by Operation Restoration and Women with a Vision.
The exhibition presents works from more than 30 artists based on the personal stories of 30 formerly and currently incarcerated women as interviewed by museum staff. “Per(Sister)” aims to look beyond the statistics and bring their stories to light as a way to comprehend the injustice of the criminal justice system in the United States.
The exhibition is divided into four sections that explore the causes of female incarceration, the impact of incarcerating mothers, the physical and behavioral toll of incarceration and the challenges of and opportunities for reentry for formerly incarcerated women.
These themes bring together diverse works—including voice recordings, photographic portraits, informative illustrations, sculptures, paintings, songs and performances—to create an exhibition that incorporates the voices of the Persisters and artists while highlighting statistics collected from the Vera Institute of Justice, Prison Policy Initiative, the Sentencing Project, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and others. Individuals from Tulane’s faculty and students, individuals directly impacted and community stakeholders contributed time and knowledge to the exhibition.
Special Upcoming “Per(Sister)” Events
- Per(Sister) Curator Talk with Monica Ramirez-Montagut
Saturday, Jan. 29, 1-2 p.m. ET
Zoom link for Jan. 29 event
- Per(Sister) In Conversation
Melissa Yuen and PerSister co-producers of the exhibition Dolfinette Martin and Syrita Steib
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 3 p.m. ET
Zoom link for Feb. 9 event
- Collaging Community: Art Making as a Restorative Practice
Thursday, Feb. 10, 6 p.m. ET
Zoom link for Feb. 10 event
- Thursday, Feb. 24, 6 p.m.
Syracuse University Art Museum
Shaffer Art Building
- Women’s Incarceration and Prison Reform Priorities
Thursday, Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m.
214 Slocum Hall
Reception to follow at Syracuse University Art Museum