Work of incarcerated artists returns to Ann Arbor Art Fair

Work of incarcerated artists returns to Ann Arbor Art Fair


Work of incarcerated artists returns to Ann Arbor Art Fair

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – The University of Michigan Prison Creative Arts Project is returning this year to the Ann Arbor Art Fair. 

This year’s exhibition titled “Humanize the Numbers” is the work of an award-winning course taught by Isaac Wingfield. 

Throughout the semester, students travel each week to a Michigan state prison to collaborate with inmates through photography workshops. 

“It’s a really profound experience, I think, for university students, because most of them have so little experience with the criminal legal system,” said Wingfield. “And so, to be able to see in an up-close way what that experience is like and the impact it has on people who are living it out in a day-to-day kind of way is such a different way of learning.” 

Visitors can see 45 photographs on display created by 36 incarcerated artists. Through the portraits, the show aims to portray the cost of life behind bars. 

“I think the main focus of the project is really allowing the men to share their stories and so I think that’s, hopefully, what people get out of it — is getting a little taste of who these guys are and what their story is by coming to see these photos,” said Wingfield. 

2022 was the first year the Prison Creative Arts Project was featured at the Art Fair, and PCAP Community Engagement Specialist Sarah Unrath said it had a visible impact on fairgoers. 

“People would say that it was the most impactful art that they saw here at the Ann Arbor Art Fair and people were brought to tears,” she said. “It’s very emotional but also very celebratory of who the creative people are inside.” 

You can find the exhibit at the intersection of Main and Liberty Streets in the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. 

For more information about the event, visit www.theannarborartfair.com

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