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Dairy Arts Center

Art for Redemption

ART FOR REDEMPTION

Open June – July 2021

You will find these works on display outside the Dairy Arts Center building.

 

Over the next two months, we will be showcasing a series of incarcerated artists in collaboration with Art For Redemption on the front walkway wall of The Dairy Arts Center. AFR is a Social Impact Company focusing on prison reform to allow inmates to make money through their creative talent.

The idea for AFR came from Buck Adams’ time in prison and participating in Defy Colorado, an in-prison entrepreneur program. Seeing first-hand the tremendous creativity and talent that was “locked up” with no way to be shared with the outside. Once released, Buck developed the idea into action with the support of friends, family, community, and investors.

After release, Buck worked closely with Defy Colorado and Colorado Department of Corrections, Ex. Director Dean Williams to amend rules with regard to inmates’ ability to earn money while in prison. Buck believes inmates should be able to generate funds while in prison to help build a savings account that can be used to help with their transition once released. The recidivism rate averages over 80% nationwide and Colorado sits around 70%. A big reason for this is most do not have any kind of monetary savings or support networks in place. Having just a small amount saved up could go a long way in helping get clothes and temporary shelter while looking for work as they transition back into society.

The successful negotiation with the Colorado DOC now allows an outside vendor to develop an approved structured vehicle to help incarcerated individuals pay restitution, child support as well as funds for phone calls and commissary. This creates the ability for the incarcerated individual to relieve a tremendous burden placed on family and loved ones, as well as taxpayers. Many people lose touch with loved ones in this dynamic simply because the financial burden is too great.

By sharing the creativity and stories of incarcerated men and women, we hope to bring attention to this cause and bridge the gap of humanity through art.

About Art for Redemption’s Founder

Founded by Buck Adams, a veteran, social entrepreneur, and formerly incarcerated individual at the Arkansas Valley Correction Facility, Art for Redemption harnesses the talent, creativity, and human ingenuity of those inside the prison walls. While at Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, Adams began working with Defy Colorado, an independent nonprofit organization helping individuals with criminal histories create legal business ventures to bring his idea to life. Prior to incarceration, Adams founded and led Veterans to Farmers, a nonprofit organization that trains veterans in agricultural systems, technologies, and business operations for a fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle.

 

Meet the Artists

Three artists will be featured in June and four will be added in July.

Joaquin Mares – #81193

Piece title and medium used
“On Point” medium is acrylic on canvas.
Is there a way for folks to inquire about the artist’s work?
You can write me or email me:
Joaquin Mares
#81193 Unit 6A
49030 State Highway 71
Limon, CO 80826
How long have you (the artist) been creating art?
What is your art background? I lived most of my 49 years of life creating art. However, I’ve only been serious about it for about 20 years. I am mostly self taught.
How has the “Art for Redemption” program influenced your life? Your art?
As an incarcerated artist I want to utilize my art to help change the conversation about incarcerated people by providing a platform alongside Art for Redemption.
How do you stay motivated to create art? What are your influences?
My Art was used as a way to escape, but then I realized that I could empower myself through Art. To embrace my reality and use it as a motivation to change it. Adversity can be a powerful motivator. Therefore, I am ultimately motivated by the adversity of my situation and the desire to change it. Artistically speaking, I am mostly influenced by rule-breakers. The rare individuals who change the game by refusing the limitations of conventional thought.
How do you want your art to be received by audiences that are not incarcerated?
I would like people to not just view my art, but to experience it. Personally, I feel that people should walk away from a piece of art feeling moved in some way similar to how we experience music.
What other things would you want people to know about you and your art?
Although my creative journey originated in the visual arts realm, my love for art knows no boundaries. Music is another form of art I have grown deeply passionate about over the years. I hope to someday have the opportunity to share that part of me publicly as well.


Westley James Ybarra – “West” – #134751 



Piece title and medium used

Untitled, Graphite/color pencil
Is there a way for folks to inquire about the artist’s work? (i.e. website/social media/contact info)
Instagram “westleyybarra”
How long have you (the artist) been creating art? What is your art background?
I’ve been creating Art since I was around 10 years old and have failed every art class I have ever taken
How has the “Art for Redemption” program influenced your life? Your art?
Art is my escape + my therapy
How do you stay motivated to create art? What are your influences?
Being in prison you become all too aware of the lows and negativities, but when I see or create art, I am reminded and restored in my faith for humanity.
How do you want your art to be received by audiences that are not incarcerated?
To be received with openness while demonstrating that everyone makes mistakes and that those mistakes do not define who you are. Art is what makes us human and it transcends all barriers of class or social status.
What other things would you want people to know about you and your art?
What other things would I like others to know? That while my body is physically trapped and cannot move at will, my art is free to roam far and wide. I want for others to see me and other inmates as more than just another invisible statistical faceless prisoner.


Mario Rios – # 92442



Piece title and medium used

“Noche de los Muertos” ( Night of the Dead)
Is there a way for folks to inquire about the artist’s work? (i.e. website/social media/contact info)
People can write me directly at:
Mario Rios #92442
AVCF – LU – 3
12750 Hwy 96 Ln 13
Ordway, CO 81034
How long have you (the artist) been creating art? What is your art background?
Ever since I could pick up a crayon, so about the age of 2. I am very adept in many forms of media such as graphite pencil, color pencil, marker, paint, cake decorating, pumpkin carving, and woodwork.
How has the “Art for Redemption” program influenced your life? Your art?
I have found a way to make others happy through my Art while being able to support a friend like Buck to be successful with his company.
How do you stay motivated to create art? What are your influences?
Art has always been an outlet for expressing myself in a creative manner and it has helped me personally with my mental health.
I have many influences, but one particular artistic influence is Boris Vallejo.
How do you want your art to be received by audiences that are not incarcerated?
I would like people to understand that what the world experienced with the pandemic and having to be locked down is just a fraction of what an incarcerated artist deals with every day and yet, we use our imagination to escape that reality.
What other things would you want people to know about you and your art?
Just as we can grow as artists by working on our craft, we can also grow to be better people by rectifying our past actions.

 

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MARCH 2020

As of today, 3/12/2020, The Dairy Arts Center remains open and operational. Should scheduling changes occur, ticket holders will be directly notified by The Dairy Arts Center.

If you have a question about an event please contact the presenting arts organization. For films, Dairy Presents and all other questions contact the Box Office at 303.440.7826