The Confined Arts in Brooklyn, Disrupting Confinement Narratives

ConfinedArts2by Jessica Daniels

The Confined Arts: 2nd Edition brought new and old faces to Shwick Market and Gallery in Brooklyn on the evening of March 27th, 2015. In a larger space with a stronger crowd, the 2nd Edition expanded their platform and discussion around incarceration and the broken justice system in the United States.

On the chilly opening night for the three-day exhibit, warmth and energy filled the space as Isaac Scott once again captivated the crowd with art, poetry and now music from the voices of those currently and previously incarcerated, along with activists for social justice in the United States. The audience was captured by the smooth vocals of Cedric Johnson. Incarcerated author, artist and poet Spoon Jackson called in from Lancaster State Prison in California, moving the audience with his powerful presence even from afar. Hip hop and spoken word activist Messiah Ramkissoon left reverberations traveling through the crowd with core-shaking poems like, “Order of Removal / Prison Poem.”  In addition, attendants had the opportunity to hear artists speak, sharing pieces of their own story and how The Confined Arts platform has played a role in their lives.

The room buzzed with activity as well as excitement from the flow of people entering the gallery space toConfinedArts2C engage in a multi-sensory art exhibit. Beyond the painting, collage, sketches and pastel art pieces, there were also audio listening stations, digital projection and photography. A former Rikers Correction Officer displayed a compelling exhibit from his experiences working at the state prison.

The Confined Arts continues to give those most closely affected by incarceration an opportunity to share their voices with the community, coming together to build a movement that supports the capacity of art in disrupting narratives around confinement.

Check out www.opportunitiesandchange.com to see more pictures of the art and activity of the evening. Stay tuned-in on the website for video footage of performances from the night.

For questions about The Confined Arts or to reach out to Isaac Scott, please contact: theconfinedarts@gmail.com