Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

Art and Incarceration

Written by Joe Ulrich, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Apr 30, 2015 2:54 PM


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Jesse Krimes ( graduated from Millersville with a degree in Studio Art. Less than a month later, he was indicted for selling drugs and given a 70 month prison sentence. Prison didn't stop him from creating art, or from being a bit defiant. Among other works he created while incarcerated, one involved secretly acquiring numerous bed sheets from the prison laundry facility and creating a 15x40 foot mural. 

The mural, called Apokaluptein:16389067,consists of images transferred from newspapers using hair gel and a spoon and blended into a kind of landscape. "It was a way to bring these exterior events going on in the world outside inside the prison," Jesse says. "It was also a way of complicated this binary system of thinking between right and wrong, good and bad. So often when you read the newspaper, they'll have an image of an offender and then they'll have this narrative in the text describing this offense which is a representation of this individual at one point in time. Yet it doesn't accurately describe this entire individual's being."


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Jesse was release from prison a year ago and has his work titled "Purgatory" on display at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. A modified version of Apokaluptein:16389067 can be seen starting this weekend at East State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. He's also done speaking engagements including a recent panel appearance for Amnesty International alongside Annie Lennox, Harry Belafonte and others.

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