Tune in for a conversation with ART FROM THE INSIDE (AFTI) founder ANTONIO ESPINOSA about the transformational power of art, hosted by JUST EDUCATION and the WEISMAN ART MUSEUM.
AFTI is a project that creates space for incarcerated artists to share their creative work and their voice. This event includes a screening of AFTI’s documentary, Transformation (2021), featuring works of incarcerated artists, followed by a roundtable conversation on Zoom, exploring where we can take action to promote the creative talents of these and other artists and how we can reverse the ripple effects of incarceration in Minnesota. This discussion will be facilitated by INGRID NUTTALL (Just Education co-founder), with participation of ANTONIO ESPINOSA (AFTI founder), ELAINE AUYOUNG (Donald V. Hawkins Professor and Associate Professor of English), and AFTI ARTISTS.
(IN PERSON) POP-UP EXHIBIT AT WAM, MARCH 23 – 27: Visit a pop-up exhibit connected to this event which will be on view at WAM March 23 – 27, 2022. The exhibit will feature paintings, drawings, craftwork, and sculptures of artists living in Minnesota’s correctional facilities.
About the Speakers
ANTONIO ESPINOSA is the founder, creator and brains behind Art from the Inside. He is a recently retired correctional officer with over 19 years of experience at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater, Minnesota. He launched and co-facilitated a men’s support group for offenders in Stillwater prison called Stand Up. Antonio has coordinated cultural events for the offenders and is a role model to his peers. He is committed to ensuring a safe and positive environment focused on uplifting and healing people. In 2021, he was awarded a Bush Fellowship to create broader change for the incarcerated in Minnesota
ELAINE AUYOUNG is Donald V. Hawkins Professor and Associate Professor of English at the University of Minnesota, where she is Affiliate Faculty of the Center for Cognitive Sciences. Her interdisciplinary scholarship focuses on psychological approaches to the arts. She is the author of When Fiction Feels Real: Representation and the Reading Mind, just released in paperback by Oxford University Press.
INGRID NUTTALL is the co-founder of Just Education, a creative collaborative funded by the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Advanced Studies. She is a graduate student in the Humphrey Institute’s Master of Public Affairs program and works as the Director of the Office of the Registrar in Academic Support Resources.
Art from the Inside gives incarcerated artists the opportunity to express themselves through art—giving them a visual voice. AFTI will be exhibiting their art in the community with the hope to inspire community dialogue about the complexities of our criminal justice system.
ABOUT JUST EDUCATION
The Just Education Collaborative explores how the University can transform the collateral consequences of incarceration into opportunities for economic mobility, individual growth, and societal change, through research, and collaboration with scholars, advocates, state and county officials, and those currently impacted. In 2018, leaders from the Law School, Academic Health Center, Weisman Art Museum, and other University stakeholders began to explore how the University of Minnesota can reverse the ripple effect of incarceration by creating a more just approach to supporting citizens with criminal records and their communities. Through funding from the Institute of Advanced Study, the goal of this collaboration is to identify what the University of Minnesota, as a major and influential academic institution, can do to address the crisis.