'Escaping Time': An Insider View to Art Created by Incarcerated Individuals

by Flaunt Intern

Photo by: Escaping Time

Photo by: Escaping Time

"Escaping Time" is a non-profit organization that showcases over 200 pieces of artwork created in prisons all over the U.S. This art gallery will be available for the public to view at Governor’s Island until September 24th. "Time" showcases artwork ranging from portraits and landscapes and pieces created by scraps of metal.

Some artwork comes from serial killers and those who are doing life in prison, but "Escaping Time" doesn't take a prisoner's crime or degree of crime into consideration. Their only criteria is that you have to be incarcerated and you must have attempted to create a piece of artwork.

Photo by: Escaping Time

Photo by: Escaping Time

Due to a lack of resources and supplies for prisoners to do art, many prisoners improvise and may use things like bed sheets as a canvas and cafeteria coffee as paint. Just like many other artists, prisoners may use art as a form of therapy and an escape from all of the time they are spending in confinement. The showcasing of the artwork from incarcerated individuals teaches us a little more about them as individuals and allows viewers to see them as humans. 

“Our rate of mass incarceration is not a result of an increase in crime but a reflection of callous policies and outdated structures. 'Escaping Time: Art from U.S. Prisons' presents a call for the harmony of acceptance and the capacity for compassion,” says Anastasia Voron on the Curatorial Statement.

Art does not have boundaries and there is no rule book to say who gets the opportunity to express themselves and who does not. Art is for everyone and anyone--those incarcerated and free. This gallery and these artists are not seeking for viewer's forgiveness, but rather seeks to give viewers a reminder that they are still human, too.


Written by Kelly An