New Online Exhibition at the University of San Francisco’s Thacher Gallery to Feature Artworks from Prison Renaissance

SAN FRANCISCO (August 11, 2020) – The Thacher Gallery at the University of San Francisco (USF) will debut a new online exhibition in collaboration with Prison Renaissance on Monday, August 17 titled A Matter of Liberation: Artwork from Prison Renaissance. The exhibition will be presented through Friday, November 6. An opening celebration featuring the exhibit’s curator and artists will be held on Thursday, August 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. This exhibition is the first of the 2020-2021 gallery season, in which each exhibition will be focused on systems.

Curated by Antwan “Banks” Williams, A Matter of Liberation presents artists Emile DeWeaver, Eddie Herena, Sara J. Kruzan, Jason Perry, Orlando Smith, and Antwan “Banks” Williams answering the question, “What does liberation mean to you?” Through paintings, drawings, photography, collage, spoken word, and dance, these artists reveal the ways in which the pursuit for liberation unites us all.

The works featured in the online exhibition are at once personal and political, revealing the impact of incarceration on individuals as well as the power of art to make change. Antwan “Banks” Williams, a co-creator of the award-winning podcast Ear Hustle, has brought his personal understanding of the U.S. prison system, as well as his technical skills, to this exhibition to produce short interviews with each artist.

A series of public programs (to be held live via Zoom) will feature conversations with the artists, museum expert Sean Kelley from the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site in Philadelphia, local social justice activists James King and Emile DeWeaver, and the co-founders of Ear Hustle.

Prison Renaissance was co-founded by three incarcerated people who identified the need for a new institution to support abolition: prison programs that don’t involve prison administrators. Prison Renaissance believes in prison programs that contribute to making prisons obsolete, noting that prison programs will never do that as long as prison administrators control them. Prison Renaissance’s program goals are to use arts, media, and technology to connect incarcerated people to the communities that need them.

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About Thacher Gallery
Located in the USF’s Gleeson Library, the Thacher Gallery is a public art gallery where creativity, scholarship, and community converge. Each year the Thacher Gallery presents a series of diverse, high-caliber art exhibitions that probe aesthetics, stimulate dialogue, and reflect the urban Jesuit university’s commitment to social justice. With a focus on art from California, the Thacher Gallery shows emerging artists, Bay Area icons, and major collections. For more information, visit the Thacher Gallery.

About the University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco is a private, Jesuit Catholic university that reflects the diversity, optimism, and opportunities of the city that surrounds it. USF offers more than 230 undergraduate, graduate, professional, and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, law, education, and nursing and health professions. At USF, each course is an intimate learning community in which top professors encourage students to turn learning into positive action, so the students graduate equipped to do well in the world — and inspired to change it for the better. For more information, visit