In 2017, Aaron Hughes taught a class with PNAP that began a new practice in our group. He worked with artists at Stateville to develop designs that were then turned into murals and painted and installed in Chicago. During the COVID pandemic I was asked by a Dept. of Corrections Chief of Staff to create a mural with artists in prison. While this kind of invitation was rare, Aaron Hughes and I reached out to artists at Stateville and we negotiated a few things– to be able to zoom (as no one in the state was using zoom to teach classes) for students to meet together (students were otherwise in lockdown for months on end) and to get ‘good time’ credit. We developed the class around some of the main concerns for people inside and in response to the uprisings against racist policing during the summer of 2020 and created 6 mural designs.
In Jan. 2021, Chicago muralist Dorian Sylvain visited our zoom class in Stateville and invited us to join a mural exhibition titled Resilient Voices at DuSable featuring 3 of the mural designs. They were painted on Juneteenth at DuSable Museum in Chicago. In May of 2022 we completed a 4th (of the 6 murals) in Back of the Yards.
The murals above and below were designed in our class by Devon Terrell, Elton Williams, Carlos Ayala, Rickey Quezada, Devon Daniels, Mike Sullivan, Johnny Taylor and Juan Luna. Forthcoming mural designs are by Aaron Barnes, Steve Martin, Robert Curry, Darrell Fair and James Glazier.