Community Works West
Restorative Justice Arts on Alcatraz
About the Art
In the New Industries Building
Community Crazy Quilt
Still A Flower
RJ community members who participated in a Restorative Justice and Expressive Arts workshop sponsored by Community Works West created squares for this piece. Participants explored community building and RJ principles in talking circles and then created individual crazy quilt pieces. The pieces were assembled into a community quilt reflecting the tradition of quilt making as a community building tradition throughout time and cultures.
Inside Out Masks
This project was inspired by the women of Gees Bend, Alabama; a small rural community of slave descendants that has preserved the quilt making tradition through generations. Women whose lives and families have been disrupted by incarceration created the quilt fabric with old jail t-shirts. The pieces were then assembled and hand stitched. This quilt reflects the tradition of turning old worn clothes into artwork that tells the story of family and community
The masks in this installation were created by members of Resolve to Stop the Violence Program, RSVP, in San Bruno County Jail. They depict the maker’s composed persona on the outside and the “hidden” self on the inside. The masks are hung so viewers can see both sides and appear as though floating in the air, ungrounded.
Learn more about RSVP at Communityworkswest.org
This project explored the African philosophy of “Sankofa”, learning from the past. Participants created collaged silhouettes facing forward and backward. The images reference their inherited legacies and legacies that will be passed on. The pieces were assembled into a large floor cloth with each piece connecting to another by “veins” of red string symbolizing interconnectivity and community.
We Are All Alone Together
Forgiveness Healing Cloak
This Healing Cloak, inspired by the Egungun dance costumes of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, was made by men in the RSVP program at San Bruno Jail in 2008. Sujatha Baliga, a leader in the RJ community, guided us in talking circles where the idea of forgiveness as a possibility for healing was explored. As a creative response to each step of our journey, we produced panels using a variety of textile design techniques. The cloak is adorned with painted charms and amulets containing individual wishes, prayers and inspirational words. These cloaks were traditionally worn by the Egungun dancers to cleanse the space and welcome the ancestors.
The “Enfolding Families” project was originally done in 2011 under a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. Morizono facilitated workshops exploring family legacy and the impact of incarceration in San Francisco county jails with over 100 participants in this yearlong project. Through Restorative Justice talking circles, participants addressed issues such as violence, addiction, racism, oppression, the justice system, and the impact of incarceration.
The insight and inspiration from these circles was then expressed in the creation of personal “legacy boxes” that utilized the traditional art forms of shibori-tie dying, origami-paper folding, and shuji-calligraphy which are part of the artist’s own cultural legacy. Participants also contributed written work and dyed paper to use in the creation of the artwork. The culminating art installation was created in collaboration with artist Lilli Lanier. The piece for the Alcatraz installation was re-envisioned by Morizono and Lanier to reflect the intricacies of family relationships challenged by incarceration. This piece was inspired by crystal formations, groupings of boxlike units repeating in three dimensions. Despite the symmetry of crystal structures, crystal growth is often not perfect but rather impacted by environmental turbulences and interactions.
Survivor Healing Cloak
Women survivors of violence in the SF Sheriff’s Dept. Survivor Restoration Program created this collaborative piece. We looked at various ways in which textiles have been used to record history, signify social status, heal body/mind/soul and ward off evil. Individual pieces were woven from various recycled and found textiles. The individual pieces were put together to form a Healing Cloak.
In the Band Practice Room
Men in the RSVP program constructed transformation masks inspired by the indigenous people of the Northwest Americas. Participants explored and defined the differences between the "hitman" self that perpetrates violence and the authentic self that has the capacity for restorative healing. The masks depict the two selves and open up to reveal a personal written piece addressing their “hitman” and authentic selves.
The Smallest Light Shines in the Darkest Night
This is a collection of six stories written by members of a Restorative Justice writing group. The stories were inspired by a simple question posed in circle; “When was is not safe to be yourself?”
Audio of the authors reading their stories can be found on the exhibits page.
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4681 Telegraph Avenue Oakland, CA 94609
Deanne Morizono: email@example.com
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