By Lt. M. Tuntakit AA/PIO
Avenal State Prison
The exhibition space at Alcatraz will function as an artist studio that the public can visit for a few months to see some special art.
Future IDs at Alcatraz is a yearlong project, exhibition, and series of monthly public programs that opened February 16, 2019 in the New Industries Building on Alcatraz Island. Since November 2018, the exhibition space has been functioning as an artist studio open to Alcatraz visitors.
Avenal State Prison is well represented at the exhibit.
Avenal State Prison inmates included in the yearlong exhibition are Angel Gutierrez, Anthony Chavez, Brandon Hein, Donald G. Sanchez, Eric Bergen, Gustavo Tafolla, Joe Frye, Michael Griego, René Hernández, and Weston Scott Kruger.
Avenal State Prison Warden Rosemary Ndoh has been an advocate for the Arts in Corrections rehabilitative programs and has been extremely involved in getting the inmates’ talents seen by the public.
The installation features ID-inspired artworks created by and with individuals who have conviction histories as they conceive and develop a vision for a future self. In stark contrast to prison-issued IDs, these artworks represent individual stories of transformation.
Dominique Bell, Future IDs project collaborator, said the concept had a simple beginning.
“Listen, you don’t have a lot of time. I just want to show you something.” And I reached into my pocket and pulled out my old prison ID. The Senator looked at it, and then I went in my other pocket and showed him this college ID. And I said to him, “This is the different side. That is the difference.” And he responded, “Enough said.”