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TIME: A Statewide Traveling Show of Oregon Prison Art 2011

Show available for booking in Southern Oregon, November through December 2011

Time Looking Back at Me, by Jerome Sloan, Snake River Correctional Institution

Time Looking Back at Me, by Jerome Sloan, Snake River Correctional Institution. Contributed Image

by Geneva Miller

20 April 2011

Launched in February 2011, TIME is a diverse collection of drawings and paintings created by artists in Oregon prisons. The Arts Center’s Joni King says visitors are wowed by the show. “It makes people very emotional,” said King, noting the level of talent and sensitivity demonstrated in the works.

Viewing a thoughtful expression in a portrait, King says artists visiting the gallery find themselves identifying with the inmates, wondering how artists in the Oregon prison system not only survive in the environment but manage to create. “When you see something beautiful, all of a sudden, you find yourself empathizing with the artist,” said King. “Yah, there’s been a lot of conversation going on.”

TIME made its debut at the SAGE Gallery in Bandon, Oregon, traveled up the coast to the Newport Arts Center, then inland to Willamette University’s Hatfield Library in Salem. The collection will be on display at The Arts Center in Corvallis through the end of April.

TIME Prison Art Show, Sage Gallery, Bandon, February 2011

Curator Victoria Tierney (facing) at the opening of the TIME show at SAGE Gallery, Bandon, February 2011. Photo by Geneva Miller


Assembled by artist and curator Victoria Tierney with support from the Celebration Foundation, TIME represents work by 16 of Oregon’s inmate artists. Recalling her first visit to a prison art show, Tierney said, “I had no idea there was this much talent hidden behind bars.”

Though she is modest about her own work, Tierney will admit, “I have a talent for appreciating people.” Tierney’s emotional investment in the show—combined with her skill as a curator—may explain why this collection resonates with viewers. Tierney began acquainting herself with inmate artists and their work after her own son was incarcerated. Faced with the limitations of her situation, Tierney decided she could offer her services to other inmates.


“I would like these people to have a focus,” said Tierney, “so that they can do something with this time they’ve been given.”



Victoria Tierney, home, Bandon, January

Curator Victoria Tierney in her home studio, January 2011. Photo by Geneva Miller



TIME will continue its statewide Oregon tour at the following venues:

April, The Arts Center, Corvallis

June, Mindpower Gallery, Reedsport

August 15 through September, Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario

October, Blue Mountain Community College, Pendleton


November through December, TIME is available for booking in Southern Oregon. Contact TIME curator Victoria Tierney at 541-347-9862.

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