Curatorial Projects > The Prison Project (2008)

Mutual Aid Pen-Pal Project

Intersection for the Arts is collaborating with BuildingBloc Collective on this year’s Mutual Aid Pen-Pal Project. The project works with about 160 people currently on the inside in the California prison system, and for this year’s Mutual Aid Pen-Pal Project, there are over 25 pairs of artists (one from inside, one from outside). BuildingBloc is a collective of artists dedicated to using art to explore the social inequalities in our society. Through experimentation, collaboration, and performance, we inform, provoke, and inspire ourselves and our audiences. BuildingBloc aims to spark dialogue, to create and sustain relationships between artists and community organizations, to support existing struggles for social justice, and to erase the boundaries between art and activism.

The two left columns represent an example of the collaboration of the Mutual Aid Pen-Pal Project. The work is from Frederick Thiecke (who is inside at California State Prison, Sacramento) and Ran-D (who is an artist who lives here locally). The top two works are from Frederick solely. The left column is work that Frederick sent to Ran-D, and the right column are digital manipulations by Ran-D of Frederick's work.

The right column is from an artist on the inside, Enrique Zaragoza (currently at California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi, CA). The top work Paper Thin Walls, 2007 is ballpoint pen and pigment (derived from food and food packaging) on paper, and will serve as the cover for the 'zine being produced for last year's Mutual Aid Pen-Pal Project collaborations. The middle work is ballpoint pen on paper, and the bottom work is ballpoint pen and pigment (derived from food and food packaging) on paper.

February 20 - March 29, 2008
Intersection for the Arts
San Francisco, CA

Photo credit: Scott Chernis