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Students in Bear 1 of the Utah State Correctional Facility created a “multi-vocal” artwork for the 2024 Jack T. Litman Symposium on Art in Prison at Harvard University. 

They designed a painting of an eye as seen through chain link fence. 

Each student painted one tile of the painting, and then attendees at the symposium at Harvard each painted one as well. 

The final painting metaphorically bridges the distance between inside and out, the distance between those looking out through the fence from the inside to those looking in.
Click here to watch video of students talking about their work



This project was a first time experience for me. It was an amazing experience being a part of something that brings people together from different walks of life. This project allowed me to share my culture and what I can contribute to the community. 

I painted the word “UNITY” with traditional Polynesian tribal patterns that represents qualities and characteristics that strengthens our community. 

The Harvard Defenders is well deserving to receive this project as a token of our appreciation, and for taking the time to be a part of this project with us. I want to thank you with the utmost respect and to everyone that participated in creating a master piece.

- Sione Kauvaka, Arts + Justice Lab Student

The eye piece that I painted is of a razor wire fence with a mountain view ahead of it. My inspiration for the peice was generated from the mental struggles that are caused by the dehumanizing, violent, torturous institution that I am in. 

Some days, when I acknowledge the fences with razor wire on them, the sight of the razor wire wounds my conception of a purpose in life: I feel stagnant and trapped, but the beautiful mountain view ahead always gives me something to be thankful for. 

I voted to donate this project to the Harvard Defenders because they represent hope for us – a reminder that we can be a part of a collective purpose.

- Isaiah M. Aligos Lucas, Arts + Justice Lab Student




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