The Confined Arts Provides a Space for Justice

| February 26, 2015

The Confined Arts Decemberby Jessica Daniels

The Confined Arts brought 2014 to a close with an exhibition that fostered a platform of agency for artists who are currently and previously incarcerated; a welcoming space for talents across the nation to express their voice.

Staying rooted in the mission of The Confined Arts to be unrestricted for the individual artist, the creators of this platform recognized the different narratives, experiences, and perspectives of those who are involved with the justice system. And they curated all pieces the artists are open to sharing with the community. Though the exhibition featured works from artists in a variety of mediums, including sketches, paintings, collage, cloth, and drawings, many of the pieces contained a similar theme, the deprivationalist nature of confinement and the justice system. The artists painted the justice system as an inequitable, unjust landscape surrounding the long-standing struggle for already marginalized communities in America who are trapped by bars of confinement felt inside and out of incarceration. But the exhibition also showed that there is not one voice of the confined. There were pieces outside this thematic trend, sprinkling hope and levity among the walls of the exhibit.

Artists Isaac Scott and Fury Young are the dynamic men who are the vision behind The Confined Arts. Isaac Scott (of Isaac’s Quarterly) is a gifted artist and entrepreneur. Initially creating Isaac’s Quarterly so artists like himself, who are formerly incarcerated or are currently involved, have the space to share their work, Isaac’s Quarterly has expanded to include Isaac’s art and design business, with plans to grow his product line through his graphic and artistic talents. Fury Young is an artist, poet and musical activist who reaches out to those who are currently incarcerated to share their narrative through art pieces as well as through collaboration on his concept album in production—Die Jim Crow. Recognizing the power of art, Isaac and Fury weaved their passions to develop The Confined Arts. After much collaboration, Scott and Young established the unique platform for voice and expression, highlighted through a mix medium piece they created together titled, “A Woman and a Sister.” Isaac and Fury both had pieces on display for the exhibit, supporting The Confined Arts holistic vision within this controversial discipline.

On the evening of the exhibition, The Confined Arts brought a diverse group of individuals to a cozy gallery in Harlem to share in a beautiful evening of looking, listening and learning. The audience ranged from academics, to local community members, those who have been justice involved, activists for the confined and families. Those who were present were not only gifted with conversation amongst a thoughtful group of individuals, but attendants were privileged to hear poetry from incredible talents currently incarcerated, including author/artist Spoon Jackson, as well as poets who embraced the space to free their voice from the bars of past confinement. The warmth that filled the room was undeniable; for those who called in who are currently incarcerated, as well as those whose pieces came from behind bars had the opportunity to share a part of themselves, and their narrative, with an audience of people they may never meet. The Confined Arts provides humanity within the dehumanizing nature of incarceration, not allowing the mental and physical bars of the system to hold in the voice, ideas, perspectives and talents of many incredible artists.

2015flier-001The Confined Arts will be presenting the next exhibition March 27th at SHWICK Market Art Gallery, 6 Charles Pl., Brooklyn. Please contact Jessica Daniels with questions regarding the event: jbd2132@tc.columbia.edu

To learn more about Isaac Scott and Fury Young, their respective websites, www.isaacsquarterly.com, and www.diejimcrow.com