Art Against The Odds

Current Exhibits
Art Against The Odds
Exhibit OpenedExhibit Ended
March 16, 2024May 19, 2024


Art Against The Odds

: Wisconsin Prison Art
features more than 60 artists who turned to creative production to mitigate the de-humanizing conditions of incarceration. The exhibition is divided into six thematic sections: solitary confinement, landscapes, portraits, letter writing, scarcity of materials, and time/seriality. 
 
Under development for two years by Portrait Society Gallery of Contemporary Art in Milwaukee, WI, the exhibition gives voice and visibility to individuals currently held in the state’s carceral system as well as illustrates the potential healing properties of an art practice. With few instructional art programs offered in the prison system, these individuals teach themselves through various means, often working with limited materials. The exhibition explores how art becomes a vehicle to develop self-esteem, self-awareness, regulate emotions, and explore multi-faceted aspects of identity. The exhibition underscores the humanity of incarcerated individuals and their potential beyond criminal records.

The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. Currently, there are 2.3 million individuals in the criminal justice system.
In Wisconsin, there are 24,000 adults in state prisons, 2,200 in federal prisons, 13,000 in local jails, 20,000 on parole, and 44,000 on probation — a total of 103,200 individuals. There are 36 adult correctional facilities in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has the nation’s highest national rate of incarceration among its Black population, more than double the national average.


 
All exhibit dates subject to change.