In 2016 I attended a five-day relief printmaking class at Ox-Bow, the School of the Art Institute’s summer school nestled in Saugatuck, Michigan.
The title of the class was “Word in Print.” Our class assignment was to think of a word or phrase and then explore its meaning using a combination of words and images. I selected the phrase “racial justice.”
As class began, for the first time I found my two selves - the lawyer and the artist - speaking with one voice. Twenty years earlier, while attending my first class at Ox-Bow, I thought I had to choose between my two selves. I even made a woodcut image to memorialize my inner conflict at the time.
Two years later, I’m still exploring what “racial justice” means to me, as well as how present-day society continues to stigmatize people who get entangled in the criminal justice system.
Previously, I’ve never given much thought to sharing my artwork with a larger audience. For me, the process of making art was all that I cared about. Now, not only do I want to share my work I hope that my work will give people a reason to start thinking about the issues I’ve explored: racial justice, lack of equal access to justice, and how the criminal justice system is used and abused.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with what I have to say but I’m hoping that my words and images prompt some to think of ways in which we can limit the inequities in our criminal justice system.
Words and Images