Date(s) - 06/30
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Photographer and author Peter Merts presents his new book Ex Crucible: The Passion of Incarcerated Artists in a book release, lecture, and book signing at The Image Flow.
Thursday, June 30, 2022, from 6:30–8:30PM
*masks are strongly recommended, but not required.
Photographer Peter Merts has spent over 15 years crisscrossing California and photographing various kinds of art classes in all 36 of California’s state prisons. His newest book, Ex Crucible: The Passion of Incarcerated Artists (Daylight Books, Spring 2022), is an immersive collection of these images, along with essays, a map, and an interview excerpt with Merts sharing more of the project’s origins and context. All this combines to provide a view into the complex layers that inhabit not only the project as a whole, but the prison system, and the people contained within.
It is an ever-present dichotomy throughout these photographs: humans creating and connecting expressively and openly with creative mediums, and the prison facility backdrop that symbolizes different messaging, and often stereotypes in ways that can be dehumanizing.
With its proximity to San Quentin State Prison and its arts programming initiatives, attendees can expect San Quentin teaching artists, volunteers, social justice, and reform advocates to join for this release event.