Free Library of Philadelphia - Parkway Central Library



Prisoner Art for Social Justice, January 6 – February 17, 2015

Written with excerpts from Testimonial by Ed Voves, Library Supervisor


Vivid artwork and powerful imagery marked the beginning of 2015 at Parkway Central Library when Art for Justice exhibited, Prisoner Art for Social Justice.


Over 100 patrons attended the opening reception on January 13 which featured guest speakers, Tyrone Werts, whose life sentence was commuted  by Gov. Ed Rendell, and Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. Their remarks, along with those of AfJ Director, AM Kirk, made a powerful case for improving the criminal justice and corrections systems in PA.


The response of the patrons of the Free Library to the Prisoner Art for Social Justice exhibit was immediate and enthusiastic as people congregated in the exhibition area to view the works. Some shared their thoughts in the Viewer Response Notebook.


       Victoria:   "Stunning, Heartfelt, Passionate, Thought Provoking,


           Keith:  “Surreal, profound, transformative & healing arts.”

          Ralph:  “Deeply touching – totally excellent!”

       Adnana:  “Beautiful, honest, courageous. Thank you for sharing

                      your stories. I was  moved to tears. I felt hopeless,

                      helpless and angry – but with some I felt re-inspired to

                      continue working toward justice. You are all incredible

                      artists. Thank you for your voice.”



Art for Justice - Shows the humanity behind bars. Brings awareness to systemic flaws in the criminal justice system.  Seeks solutions to eliminate injustice.

* Artworks are either privately owned or have been donated to Art for Justice.

Photography by Jen Cleary