Richard Ross traveled across the country, taking photographs and conducting interviews in more than 200 juvenile detention centers in 31 between the years 2005 and 2012. Juvenile in Justice is a collection of more than 50 large-scale photographs accompanied by the personal stories of the young prisoners. According Ross, "Juvenile in Justice explores the treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them. The hope is that by seeing these images, people will have a better understanding of the conditions that exist." Ross is a Distinguished Professor of Art at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His work has been exhibited internationally.
This exhibition was a NEA ArtWorks-supported collaboration between the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art and the Figge Art Museum. As part of the collaboration, the Quad Cities' community feature two exhibitions of his work, Juvenile in Justice at Augustana, and his follow-up project, Girls in Justice, at the Figge Art Museum.
PROGRAMMING: ANY ONE OF US: WORDS FROM PRISON
Continuing a partnership between the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art and the Figge Art Museum to host the Juvenile in Justice project by photographer Richard Ross, Augustana students performed Any One of Us: Words from Prison in galleries of the Figge Art Museum. Any One of Us is a groundbreaking collection of monologues written by over 50 incarcerated or formerly incarcerated women in the United States, written in creative writing workshops lead by Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues). They are a collection of stories of fierceness and honesty, written by women who are moving toward healing, understanding, and change with the ultimate goal of using their writing and voices to impact policy, laws and treatment of incarcerated women.
The Figge Museum’s exhibition of Girls in Justice by Richard Ross provided the backdrop for this event. The exhibit focuses specifically on girls in the prison system. Compared with boys and young men, young women in custody report nearly two times the rate of prior physical abuse, four times the rate of prior sex abuse, and suicide attempts at twice the rate as boys.
PROGRAMMING: PANEL DISCUSSION - JUVENILE JUSTICE IN THE QUAD CITIES
Dr. Paul Croll, associate professor of sociology, Augustana College
The Rev. Dwight Ford, executive director, Martin Luther King, Jr, Community Center of Rock Island
John McGehee, Rock Island County State's Attorney
Angela Moody, CEO, Arrowhead Youth and Family Services
Moderated by Kai Swanson, special assistant to the president, Augustana College
The four panelists and the audience discussed their responses to the exhibition and how it relates to the state of juvenile justice in our community.
This was an essential part of the exhibition, as moves from educating visitors about the problems of juvenile incarceration on a national level, to a discussion of how it directly affects the Quad Cities community and began a conversation on why we should, and how we can help begin to mitigate the issues.