Returned to Mill Valley this past Saturday evening, January 26th, from my trip up the coast to the Gualala Arts Center where the "Unchained Artists: Portraits and Dreams" exhibit took place. 

First, I’d like to thank the Gualala Arts Center for hosting the show, to Wendy Bailey for her vision and unfailing hard work; to Ken Bailey Grading and Underground whose generous underwriting made this exhibit possible.  Also, special thanks goes out to Heidi Endemann and Roberta Tewes of the Stewart-Kummer Gallery for donating mat board for the art.

The exhibit was a MAJOR success...not just in sales, but for the fact that people unanimously loved the show. Numerous comments written in the Guest Sign-In book that it was one of the best art shows that they've seen in the Burnett Gallery in years!   It’s my experience that most visitors to opening art receptions attend to socialize, drink wine and eat food that's set out. But, with this recent inmate art exhibit, folks were held fascinated; grouped around and staring at the artwork to discuss the different pieces on display.   The show opened peoples' minds and hearts to the plight of inmates and inmate artists that they were previously unaware of before. So, in that sense, I consider it a major success.

Comments include but not limited to:

"Authentic, fearless and beautiful art for the soul.  Everyone is valuable and shining”.

“Third or 4th time seeing this show – most creative show I’ve seen at GAC.”

“Powerful, creative expression!  Thank you.  Freedom manifested thru art!

“Some of the finest artwork we have seen – wonderful!  Love the different mediums”

“(The) human spirit cannot be dominated”

“Impressive, especially given the conditions, lack of materials and environment of having prison be your studio.”

Photos: Courtesy of Leslie Lakes

4th image is of Wendy Bailey, curatror/installer of this show.