The response to our Death Penalty Art Show from artists around the world has been amazing. (Pictured above is “The Anomie” by Misty Morris). More than 300 artists submitted around 700 pieces of art for our jury to consider. Last Saturday, the three jury members met in Austin. One of them, Malaquias Montoya, flew all the way from Sacramento with his wife Lezlie just to be on the jury. The other two jury members live in Austin – Annette Carlozzi and Lora Reynolds. The jurying process started at 9 AM and took all day. In the end, the jury selected 50 artworks for the exhibition at Gallery Lombardi in Austin from May 6-22. We were all frustrated that we could not select more art for the Lombardi exhibition, but the gallery does not have enough space for more.
We are searching for an exhibition space in Houston where we can exhibit more of the 700 works that were submitted. We hope to find a space and take the death penalty art show to Houston after its Austin run. We may also have another art show in Austin in the Fall, so that we can show more of the artwork.
In the meantime, on May 6, we will post all 700 or so images of death penalty art that were submitted to us onto the website www.deathpenaltyartshow.org. We want all of these amazing artists to have a large audience for their important work. 100 years from now, when people look back and try to understand early 21st century civilization, they may well turn to some of these artists for insight, just as people look at Picasso’s Guernica to understand the horrors of early 20th century life.
We plan to make the website www.deathpenaltyartshow.org a central depository for death penalty related art. We will invite artists to continue to upload images of their new death penalty art to the site and add their work to the online exhibition. We will create a database of death penalty art on the site, so that gallery owners, anti-death penalty organizations and others who want to create their own death penalty art shows around the United States or elsewhere will be able to come to deathpenaltyartshow.org and search the database for artwork. Then, they can select art that they like and contact the artists to ask them to participate in their art show.
We hope people will use the deathpenaltyartshow.org database to create death penalty art shows across the country and use the art shows as opportunities to engage their communities in dialogues regarding the issue of the death penalty.