Since 1996, I have been working as a curator and teacher with the Prison Creative Arts Project. PCAP is an organization based at the University of Michigan whose mission is to collaborate with incarcerated adults and youth, urban youth and the formally incarcerated to strengthen our community through creative expression. I have facilitated several art workshops in prisons and teach a class at the University of Michigan in which my undergraduate students facilitate art workshops in men’s women’s and juvenile facilities. I co-founded and have co-curated 20 Annual Exhibitions of Art by Michigan Prisoners, traveling each year to prisons around the state to collect about 300 works of art each year by over 200 artists. The exhibition is held at the University of Michigan and each year, is viewed by approximately 3,000 people. The work is intense and varied. Go to these links to learn more:

http://playgallery.org/stories/janie_paul/
An essay I wrote in collaboration with sound artist Stephanie Rowden about our annual exhibitions. It includes examples of art and brief sound clips of the artists speaking about their work and the exhibitions.

http://stephanierowden.blogspot.com/
A short sound piece by Stephanie Rowden, aired on Michigan Radio with voices of seven prison artists

Doing Time, Making Space (pdf)
An essay I wrote for a publication that Buzz Alexander and I produced for the Tenth Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners. It describes prison artists’ processes and how they use art to resist dehumanization


This Is Our Bridge….And We Built It Ourselves!” (pdf)
An essay, co-authored with my co-curator Buzz Alexander, in which we describe what transpires on our selection visits at the prisons and includes specific experiences with artists and staff

http://playgallery.org/video/acts_of_art_the_prison_creative_arts_project/
A 30 minute documentary made by Katherine Weider-Roos about the Annual Exhibitions

 

http://www.lsa.umich.edu/pcap/
The Prison Creative Arts Project