Archive for February 21, 2011

More Similar Than Different + Tent City Jail Tour Opportunity

Lately we have been using the tag line “ASU Art Museum is a community incubator re-thinking the museum through sustainability, diversity of knowledge and shared human experience – recognizing we are more similar than different.”  This was extremely apparent this past Friday evening as I stood in the Museum’s Turk Gallery for the public reception of Gregory Sale’s It’s not just black and white, having conversations, sharing stories and observing what was occurring before my eyes.

There was a great diversity among the over 1,200 individuals who attended the season opening reception, with backgrounds as wide as the imagination –  a former inmate, a deputy chief from the sheriff’s office, parents of a young lady who had lost her life in prison, lawyers, the editor of Arizona Prison Watch, the mental health director for Maricopa County Correctional Health Services, the justice system coordinator for Maricopa County, the executive co-directors of the Arizona Justice Project, the adult probation supervisor for Maricopa County Adult Probation, educators, artists, activists, students and community members.

(L to R) Dr. Dawn Noggle, Mental Health Director, Maricopa County Correctional Health Services; MaryEllen Sheppard, Deputy Chief, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office; Amy Rex, Justice System Coordinator, Maricopa County; John Spiak, Curator, ASU Art Museum; Sue Ellen Allen, Co-founder and Executive Director, Gina’s Team; Lindsay Herf, Executive Co-Director, Arizona Justice Project; Katie Puzauskas, Executive Co-Director, Arizona Justice Project; Gregory Sale, Artist

It was truly heartening to see all the individuals collectively, not just in the same room, but having respectful and informed conversations with one another. They come to the conversations through direct experiences, knowledge, insights. They all expressed concerns, talked about budget issues, shared their struggles with perceptions and prejudices, creating conversations with one another within the context of Gregory’s project. There was talk about the possibility of joint board meetings, scheduling outside one-on-one lunches and using the space for future dialogue and activation.

Their approaches, roles and ways of taking on issues may differ, but it was very clear to me they all share passion – a passion to see that the world becomes a better place. Whether it is creating positive education or rehabilitation programs from the inside, monitoring current systems that may be failing, assisting inmates with opportunities once they are on the outside, or preventing people from getting to the inside in the first place, these individuals all embodied what it means to care as human beings. 

I was able to recognize throughout the evening: We are more similar than different.

I encourage you to share in the experience. Gregory has a few upcoming events that are open to the public and may be of interest.   

The first is An Inside/Outside Prison Writing Workshop, with former inmates and former prison employees, which will take place Tuesday, March 1 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. here at the Museum. The second is an opportunity to tour Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Tent City Jail on Wednesday, March 2 at 2:00 p.m.

These are just the beginning of programming for the course of this ASU Art Museum Social Studies initiative residency.

You can sign-up for the Tent City Jail tours and keep posted on all project activities through the It’s not just black and white website at the following address:

– John Spiak, Curator

It’s not just black and white is supported a grant from
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

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Additional Blog Posts
Angela Davis, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Youth in Detention = Social Practice
Reconnecting – It’s not just black and white
Dream like you mean it: The Mother-Daughter Distance Dance
Another Active Week and the Schedule for April
Waiting for Release, Sentencing Reform & Welcoming Home
Invitation to Join Us for Volunteer Event – GINA’s Team
Inside & Outside – It’s not just black and white
More Similar Than Different + Tent City Jail Tour Opportunity
You can’t move forward until you know where you are
Olympic Gold Medalist, Gina’s Team and PVCC Students!
IT’S NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE: Gregory Sale – Social Studies Project 6

February 21, 2011 at 11:07 pm 12 comments

February 2011

ASU Ceramics Research Center Library