Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with and contribute to the exhibition, and will leave with a lasting impression of humanity in place of criminality, perseverance in place of violence, and hope in place of despair.
*Click here to read the curator's full statement
Currently and formerly incarcerated youth artists in SkyART‘s Just-Us program
Kirsten Leenaars w/ Circles & Ciphers
Incarcerated authors from Contextos
Children from Arte Pro
Ebony G. Patterson
A Long Walk Home
The South Side Home Movie Project (SSHMP)
Girls Behind the Lens
Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose
Basia Brown & Spanish Brown
Guillermo “Junior” Diaz & Crystal “Nikki” Diaz
Can you see me? is curated by Devon VanHouten-Maldonado, SkyART’s Director of Programs and Kasia Houlihan, Director of Weinberg/Newton Gallery. Independent curator Rikki Byrd serves as a Curatorial Advisor for the exhibition.
● The primary Can you see me? exhibition at Weinberg/Newton Gallery (688 N. Milwaukee Ave.) will open on Oct. 14, with an opening reception from 5–7pm and remain on view until Dec. 17, 2022. Click here to register for the opening reception. Registration is encouraged but not required.
● Scheherazade Tillet's FREEDOM SPACE at Arts + Public Life (301 E Garfield Boulevard) will open on Oct. 21, with an opening reception from 5–7pm and remain on view until Dec. 16, 2022.
● SkyART's (3026 E. 91st St.) installment of Can you see me? Envisioning the future at their flagship studio space in South Chicago will open on Oct. 28, with an opening reception from 4–7pm and remain on view until Dec. 17, 2022.
●A Panel discussion on youth incarceration, alternatives, and effects on families and communities will take place at Weinberg/Newton Gallery on November 4, 2022 from 5:30 to 7:00pm with special guest speakers Ally Bain, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Illinois; Jakki Alexander, Assistant Superintendent of Programs, IYC Warrenville - Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, and Emony Tate, a community organizer and youth services provider with Blocks Together, Chicago; plus Denzel Burke and Destine Phillips, co-founders of R.E.A.L Youth Initiative with lived experiences of incarceration as a juvenile.
Click here to register for the Nov. 4 panel
●A Panel discussion on the healing power of art and effects of trauma on young people will take place at Weinberg/Newton Gallery on November 11, 2022 from 5:30 to 7:00pm with special guest speakers SkyART founder, CEO and art therapist, Sarah Ward (ATR); clinical social worker, therapist and professor at UChicago's Crown School of Social Work specializing in youth development and trauma, John Sykes (MSW, LCSW), and Deputy Executive Director of Zealous and formerly incarcerated artist, Demetrius Titus.
Click here to register for the Nov. 11 panel
●A Panel discussion about youth incarceration in the Americas will take place at Weinberg/Newton Gallery on November 17, 2022 from 5:30 to 7:00pm with special guest speakers Luz Pro, Founder of Arte Pro, an organization that works with children born in incarceration in Mexico; Eduardo Enrique Navarrete Murcia, a formerly incarcerated educator and writer who works with Contextos, an organization that works with incarcerated authors in El Salvador and Chicago, and and Juan Carlos Quirarte who established the first safehouse for youth escaping organized crime in Mexico and has led many other projects focusing on prevention and reentry from incarceration.
Click here to register for the Nov. 17 panel
●The world premier of A Letter to the City: “jail is not my home” by artist Kirsten Leenaars and Circles & Ciphers, followed by a panel discussion with the artists, will take place at Weinberg/Newton Gallery on December 9, 2022 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The documentary A Letter to the City: “Jail is not my home” is shaped by letters written by young people who are incarcerated, and weaves these deeply personal stories through performative actions and image making into our social fabric. The documentary reflects on the ways in which the prison-industrial complex affects individuals, families, communities, and the city.
School and community groups are encouraged to schedule field trips with Lisa Lindvay (email@example.com), Education Coordinator at Weinberg/Newton Gallery. Special programming for youth will be scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis. SkyART and/or Weinberg/Newton Gallery may be able to assist with transportation.
For media and press inquiries please contact Alyssa Krueger (firstname.lastname@example.org).