Bail Outs, Banners, and Shredded Criminal Records
Opening Reception: 6pm Tuesday February 26 @ Paper Machine 6330 St. Claude Ave
Join us for the current exhibition at Paper Machine by the People’s Paper Co-op and Reentry Think Tank. The exhibition features multi-year projects made in collaboration between artists, lawyers, and formerly incarcerated men and women across the United States. As part of their residency at Antenna’s Paper Machine, project coordinators Mark Strandquist and Courtney Bowles have printed the Reentry Bill of Rights: A Blueprint for Keeping Us Free. The poster series has been printed on paper made from shredded criminal records and includes the words, images, ideas of over 1200 Philadelphian’s with criminal records who were interviewed during pop-up Reentry Think Tank exhibits across the city. The exhibition also features videos, photos, and installations created in collaboration with currently and formerly incarcerated youth and adults across the country. Instead of speaking for or about those impacted by the criminal justice system, the exhibition shares a variety of powerful and deeply collaborative models for working with communities to amplify their voices, dreams and demands.
Lead artists Mark Strandquist and Courtney Bowles will be on hand to share experiences and insights from their projects.
About the People’s Paper Co-op and Reentry Think Tank:
The People’s Paper Co-op is a women led, women focused, women powered art and advocacy project at the Village of Arts and Humanities, that works with women in reentry and uses art to amplify their stories, dreams, and visions for a more just and free world.
Twice a year, the PPC provides paid fellowships to a inspiring group of formerly incarcerated women to focus on three goals: collaborating with female identifying artists and advocates through workshops, teach-ins, and art sessions held at our storefront to create a Dream Team of Phenomenal Women; working together to make media campaigns to destroy stereotypes about women in reentry to shift culture and policy; and connecting women in our program with service providers and advocates to help expand, transform, and amplify their work through community justice partnerships.
The Reentry Think Tank connects returning citizens with artists and advocates to transform the stereotypes, social services, and platforms that impact our lives and communities. Throughout the project, Think Tank Fellows consult and collaborate with service providers to transform how they support those in reentry, create media campaigns to transform public perceptions, take on leadership roles, and advocate for policies that can truly keep people free.
About the Artists:
Mark Strandquist and Courtney Bowles have spent years using art as a vehicle to help amplify, celebrate, and power social justice movements. Their media campaigns and immersive exhibitions have helped advocates close prisons, pass laws, train an entire police force (Richmond, VA), and connect the dreams and demands of communities impacted by the criminal justice system with tens of thousands of people.
They believe that stories matter, that changing public perceptions is needed if we want to truly transform systems in progressive and human-centered ways. To this end, their work has reached wide audiences through exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, galleries across the United States, as well as public spaces, parades, and non-traditional exhibition sites. Their work has been featured in the NY Times, NPR, Washington Post, PBS, and VICE. They currently direct the People’s Paper Co-op in Philadelphia, PA, the Performing Statistics project in Richmond, VA and in 2017, building on fellowships from A Blade of Grass and Open Societies Foundation, began the Reentry Think Tank.