Windows From Prison Photography Exhibition Gives Mason Students a New Perspective on Incarceration

Posted: October 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm, Last Updated: October 7, 2014 at 11:20 am

Windows Prison Press Photo 1Windows From Prison // Founders Hall Gallery // George Mason University Arlington Campus // 10/8 to 12/7, 2014

Photography exhibition in Founders Hall, featuring artistic collaboration between George Mason University students and prisoners, opens October 8, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., in conjunction with the Pizza and Perspectives discussion, Locked Up: Mass Incarceration in the Land of the Free.

Windows From Prison utilizes photography as a way to bridge the distance created by incarceration, while creating space and humanistic entry points for students, teachers, NGO’s, family members of incarcerated individuals, former prisoners, and policy makers to engage with the sources, impacts, and alternatives to mass incarceration.

“If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?”

In spring of 2014, this question was asked of prisoners originally from Washington, D.C., who had been sent to prisons across the country.  As responses came back, students from George Mason University and Duke Ellington High School went across the city, created the requested photographs, and mailed the images to the incarcerated participants.

Originally presented as an outdoor installation, this second iteration of the Windows From Prison project is a collaboration between project director Mark Strandquist and Mason’s Arts Management Program. Curated by Arts Management staff member, Maggie Edwards, the exhibit will run October 8, 2014 to December 7, 2014.

Windows Prison Press Photo 2The exhibition opening will take place on George Mason’s Arlington Campus in the Founders Hall Gallery on October 8, 5 to 6 p.m., during Pizza and Perspectives. This month’s discussion, Locked Up: Mass Incarceration in the Land of the Free, brings together panelists Arthur Romano, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Thena Robinson-Mock, J.D., Project Director of Advancement Project’s Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track Campaign; and Beth Arthur, Arlington County Sheriff, to discuss how the United States has 5% of the world’s population but houses 25% of the world’s prisoners.

Founders Hall Gallery (FHG) is a public art venue coordinated by the Arts Management Program on George Mason University’s Arlington Campus. FHG provides opportunities for dialogue, understanding, and community building between the different areas of study within Mason’s Arlington Campus and the broader Arlington community through exhibitions of different art forms, partnerships, and programs.

“The students’ involvement in Founders Hall Gallery, especially with exhibition installation, provides valuable ancillary knowledge and hands-on experience in gallery installation.” Maggie Edwards, Arts Management Program, Founders Hall Gallery Coordinator

About Windows From Prison

The Windows From Prison project was directed by Mark Strandquist and was awarded a 2013 Photowings/Ashoka Foundation Insight project grant. The project included partnerships with Free Minds DC, The Washington Project for the Arts, Magnum Foundation, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Provisions Library, a multidisciplinary array of departments at George Mason University and many others.

For more information about this exhibit or Founders Hall Gallery, contact Maggie Edwards: medwar20@gmu.edu.