Artist ········· Gabriel Chalfin-Piney
Medium ········· Magazine / Artist book
Year   ········· Edited for E-merge 2019
Language ······· English

Reading Time ··· 10 minutes

Greeting Cards From Prison:
Stories and Art by Vincent Wade Robinson

Greeting Cards From Prison is a collection of stories from an interview conducted by Gabriel Chalfin-Piney with artist Vincent-Wade Robinson on March 10th, 2019 at L & M Starlight Restaurant in Chicago Illinois. All of the artworks are templates from Vincent’s greeting card business, which he operated while incarcerated within the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Vincent is active at the Chicago Torture Justice Center, an organization that seeks to address the traumas of police violence and institutionalized racism through access to healing and wellness services, trauma-informed resources, and community connection. The Center is a part of and supports a movement to end all forms of police violence.

Educational, artistic and vocational programs have been cut by the Illinois Department of Corrections drastically since the late 1990s. Because of this, artistic opportunities for currently incarcerated artists are largely nonexistent. Greeting Cards From Prison is an exploration in blending oral history practice with the art practice of a formerly incarcerated artist.

For this project, I took on the role of designer and compiler.  This publication serves as a tool to elevate the voice of the formerly incarcerated artist. My hope is to bring awareness to the lack of vocational and education programs in Illinois Prisons, and to ask people to reconsider how they view incarceration and formerly incarcerated people reentering society. As long as there are prisons, true liberation cannot exist. The great Angela Davis said it best: “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” My intention for this zine is not to liberate those who are incarcerated, but to shift the perceptions and language surrounding incarceration.

Please print and share this zine with others.

Please print and share this zine with others.