Prison Art: An Exercise in Forgiveness
Imagine being 18 years old. You have worked very hard, as has your family, to get you to this important next journey in your life. College life is in your sights and you are anxious yet excited at the prospect of dabbling in your new independence. This was the headspace of art dealer Alexander Salazar in 1991. He lived in Houston, Texas with his family.
Trouble on the street one night caused quite a commotion. Alex had a run in with two teens that had some destructive ideas for their evening entertainment. Neighbors came out into the yards to find out what was going on. A young Alex had awoken his father who then gathered with him outside. The two boys who had scared Alex and his mother earlier in the evening were standing across the street and the police were called. Before the authorities had arrived a gun shot pierced the air. A sixteen year old boy had pulled the trigger of his gun and Alex’s father hit the ground. Mr. Salazar had been shot in the head. He survived and both boys went to prison.
Alexander Salazar went off to college in Colorado, though he was conflicted. He excelled and furthered his studies at Harvard University and Boston College. He eventually sculpted his future through his passion for art where he has since found a way toward healing and forgiveness. Alex has been fascinated by the purity he sees in the artwork created by those confined from the outside world. He began collecting prison art through online sites and now wants to share it.
His upcoming exhibition will feature works of art from those in prison. Art Exonerated – Prison Art Now will open Saturday, April 16 from 4PM – 9PM and will be on display through April 30th at his downtown San Diego gallery. The exhibition will include works of art Alexander Salazar has collected and those submitted especially for this exhibit.