Ongoing through July 7 during regular library hour
Howland Public Library, 313 Main Street – Beacon
As part of the ongoing PHOTO REQUESTS FROM SOLITARY project, men and women held in long-term solitary confinement in New York’s state prisons were invited to request a photograph of anything at all, real or imagined. Volunteer artists then created the photos for them. The resulting images provide an archive of the dreams, memories, and interests of individuals who live locked down 23 hours a day in small cells for months, years, and even decades. More than a dozen images from the New York phase of the project, along with original request forms, will be on display at the Howland Library Community Room Exhibition Space. Photo Requests from Solitary was initiated in 2009 by Tamms Year Ten, a grass-roots coalition of artists, advocates, family members and men formerly incarcerated in Tamms Correctional Center in southern Illinois, which was shuttered in 2013 after years of opposition. In 2013, in collaboration with Solitary Watch and Parsons The New School for Design, the project expanded to New York and California. To date, Photo Requests from Solitary has filled more than 100 requests from these states, and is using the project to support local campaigns to end the use of long-term solitary confinement. The project is curated by artists Laurie Jo Reynolds and Jeanine Oleson and journalist Jean Casella, and relies on the creative visions of men and women in solitary and the collaboration of dozens of volunteer artists.
The exhibit is sponsored by Beacon Prison Action, CAIC, and Solitary Watch, in collaboration with Parsons The New School for Design and Tamms Year Ten.