California contains the largest amount of death row inmates (over 750) in the United States. The majority are housed at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, just a few miles from San Francisco.
During the Day of the Dead, artist Jennifer Lugris displays paintings from her series Finished Unfinished at SOMArts Ramp Gallery. In this series she paints portraits of death row inmates executed in 2015. The paintings are incomplete or unfinished to represent their incomplete lives.
Through Finished Unfinished, Lugris researches inmate’s crimes and fate. She questions the system and creates a conversation on the circumstances surrounding the prison industrial complex, hoping to redirect the dialogue into alternative methods of justice.
Audio from the artist providing insight into the work:
Jennifer Lugris (b. 1986, North Bergen, NJ) is a Korean, Uruguayan, American, and Spanish oil painter. She studied painting and photography at Rutgers University while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Her career as an artist began in October, 2012, when she took a painting class at a small art school in Alhambra, CA. Lugris’s artwork explores human rights violations permitted under political institutions. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries internationally, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Queensland, Australia. Her work won second place at the Art Scene today, Fall 2014: Fire Beneath the Ice Competition and two Honorable Mentions, one at the Main Society of Artists Frances Young Gallery, Artists View of the News exhibition and one at the Axis Gallery, 10th National Juried Exhibition. Due to her interest in social justice, she was awarded a residency at New Pacific Studio (NPS) in Vallejo, CA as an Ernest J. Gaines fellow. To raise awareness on social issues she has curated three successful, fundraising exhibitions: Compassion, in Alhambra, CA aided Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines, Pacha Mama in Oakland, supported the California redwoods, and SWAN Day in Oakland raised funds for WomenArts, a nonprofit organization in Berkeley. To further her work, she is currently pursuing a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Visual Arts at the University of California, Berkeley in preparation for graduate school. She currently resides in Oakland, CA.
About The Ramp Gallery
The Ramp Gallery accepts exhibition proposals on a continual basis. Submission Guidelines can be found here. To purchase work on display or for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit The Ramp gallery any time SOMArts Cultural Center is open.