What Cannot Be Taken Away: Families and Prisons Project

Acrylic and oil on paper, 3'x7', 2010

What: What Cannot Be Taken Away: Families and Prisons Project
When: Thursday, August 12, 2010, 6:30 – 9:30pm
: SOMArts Cultural Center Main Gallery
Evan Bissell and Community Works
Exhibition dates: August 12 through September 19 2010
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday 12:00pm to 7:00pm, Saturday 12:00pm to 5:00pm

“Let’s create some love through the work and be able to accept our differences and the conditions of our lives. Because they say; my father this, my mother that and this and that…if we can go ahead and whatever we create with these pieces, let that be acceptance of our experiences and move to that point of forgiveness.” – Teak, San Francisco Jail, 2010

There are over seven million youth in this country with parents in the legal justice system. What Cannot Be Taken Away: Families and Prisons Project is a new exhibition of collaborative paintings with Evan Bissell and Community Works that share the experiences of eight individuals who have experienced this rupture in their own families. Resulting from eight months of intergenerational, creative dialogue between Bay Area youth who have incarcerated parents, and fathers who are currently incarcerated in San Francisco jail, the exhibition centers around eight life-size collaboratively designed and created portraits. The exhibition also includes interactive wall drawings, installation pieces, audio, documentation of the process and a dynamic workshop series.

SOMArts Gallery Director Justin Hoover commented, “Evan Bissell’s work is a unique approach to social responsibility where an individual acts as a hub for collaborative and creative social justice. In this way, What Cannot be Taken Away highlights some of the most vital social efforts in the local community to use the arts for healing, peace and justice”.

Exhibition Programming
All events are free, all ages friendly, and open to the public. Advance registration strongly recommended.

Saturday, August 14, 2:00 – 5:00pm
Forgiveness Workshop with Sujatha Baliga and Evan Bissell

A participatory workshop looking at the power of forgiveness, and its role in community and individual peace.
Seating limited, preregister at: http://forgivenessworkshop.eventbrite.com

Thursday, Aug 29, 2010 2:00 – 4:00pm
Writing Workshop with Chinaka Hodge and Elena Berman

For writers of all experience levels.
Seating limited, preregister at: http://bissellwritingworkshop.eventbrite.com

Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 2:00 – 4:00pm
Visual Arts Workshop with Evan Bissell

A hands-on workshop for artists of all levels.  Please bring a photograph, poem, lyric, writing, article, or fact relating to healing and justice.
Seating limited, preregister at: http://visualartsworkshop.eventbrite.com

Sunday, Sep 19, 2010 12:00 – 2:00pm
Closing Reception And Artist Walkthrough

Free admission.

All events will be held in the SOMArts Cultural Center Main Gallery
934 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Enter down long driveway.
Street parking available and flat rate parking is accessible at Brannan & 8th St
SOMArts is within two blocks of the Muni lines number 12, 19, 27 and 47.

Image credit: Joe by Evan Bissell, acrylic and oil on paper, 7′x3′, 2010.  This heroic-scale painting by Evan Bissell depicts one of the eight individuals included in his collaborative painting series to be exhibited at “What Cannot Be Taken Away.”