Paths of Discovery

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About the author:
Peter Merts has been photographing inmate-artists and their works in various California prisons since 2002. His photographs humanize the otherwise forgotten and vilified convicts who desperately want to learn new ways of expressing their emotions and imaginations as artists. Peter's photographs of inmate art show the remarkable talent that is behind bars and in many cases tell the story of discovery and redemption. Peter is a fine art and documentary photographer who has exhibited, published, and lectured in the United States and abroad.

Larry Brewster is professor of public administration and former dean at the University of San Francisco. Larry consults in areas of public policy and organizational development, and is author of several books and articles. He first evaluated California Arts-in-Corrections in 1983, when he conducted a cost-benefit analysis. More recently, Larry completed interviews with formerly incarcerated men and women who had participated in the program during their incarceration to learn of their experience in the program, how it affected them while inside, and how it has impacted their lives as free men and women. The voices of the inmate-artists who participated in the four programs documented in Paths of Discovery are heard through their letters, poetry, and testimony-just as their art and creativity are revealed in Peter's photographs.

Paths of Discovery

Art Practice and Its Impact in California Prisons (2nd Edition)

Authored by Larry Brewster
Photographs by Peter Merts
Edition: 2

"Paths of Discovery: Art Practice and Its Impact in California Prisons" tells the stories of the men and women who discover-through prison fine arts programs-untapped skills, new passions, and the rewards of introspection and self-discipline. In these programs, professional artists provide inmates with quality instruction in visual, literary, and performing arts-and in the process often become mentors and role models for their students. By traveling with their teachers down paths of discovery, many of these inmate-artists learn to transform "doing time" into positive engagements that benefit their lives in prison and beyond.

New to the Second Edition:
Whereas the first edition focused solely on the state-run Arts-in-Corrections program with photographs and artwork from San Quentin State Prison, this new edition covers four of California's leading prison arts programs and includes images from five men's and women's prisons. Featured here are the William James Association, Marin Shakespeare Company's prison outreach project, The Actors' Gang Prison Project, and Jail Guitar Doors USA-as well as a brief history of the Arts-in-Corrections program.

Includes: color photographs, interviews, and more than 100 reproductions of inmate paintings, drawings, prints and poetry.

Publication Date:
1508895155 / 9781508895152
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Full Color with Bleed
Related Categories:
Art / Folk & Outsider Art

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