Kept Out/Kept In
New Exhibits Coming to the Evergreen Campus
By Ruby Love
The 2016 winter quarter marks the start of Kept Out/Kept In, an amazing series of exhibits and events coming to the Evergreen campus. Kept Out/Kept In, as the title suggests, deals with spaces of privilege and spaces of confinement.
Addressing social and economic inequality, complexities of identity, and the fight for social justice, these exhibits focus on the ways in which the prison-industrial complex is a reflection of these issues in our society.
The main exhibit featured in Kept Out/Kept In is Prison Obscura, which opens January 14 at the Evergreen Gallery. Prison Obscura includes works by seven photographers as well as photographic evidence from Brown V. Plata, a class-action lawsuit over prison overcrowding and lack of access to medical care filed against the state of California. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, and the images used as evidence can be difficult to look at, but their existence is incredibly important.
The bodies of work featured in Prison Obscura each, in their own way, address the complexities of prison life. Some do so on an intimate level as prisoners’ portraits are paired with audio recordings of them telling their life’s story, and others operate on a grand scale as animated graphics show us the decades-long rapid construction of prisons across America. If you want to learn more about the show, prisons, photography, and more, the Prison Obscura curator Pete Brook is leading a gallery walkthrough from 4-6pm on January 14 . By the way folks, every single show and event associated with Kept Out/Kept In is FREE! So you have no excuses!!
There are a few other exhibits coming to campus as well, most of which will be popping up in the next few days: The library lobby will feature portraits of and artwork by juvenile inmates of Green Hill made through Evergreen’s partnership with the Gateways program. Within the library, there will be artwork on display including paintings, sculptures, and textile art by inmates of the Washington Corrections Center. Galerie Fotoland (the wall outside of the Photoland entrance on the first floor of the library) will feature photographs by Evergreen faculty member Steve Davis, part of a series entitled Captured Youth, about the lives of incarcerated teens in Washington.
Keep an eye on the Evergreen Gallery website (sites.evergreen.edu/gallery) for more announcements about events and talks!
**Disclaimer** In addition to working at the lovely CPJ, I am also a curatorial intern working in Photoland and in the galleries on campus. This does mean that I may have handled/written about/photographed some of the art mentioned in this article, and this does mean that I’m fortunate enough to have the inside scoop on a lot of these exhibit details (you’re welcome!), but it doesn’t mean this article is intended to promote these exhibits for any reason other than my genuine personal interest in their subject matter and the intersection of art and social justice.