Exhibits & Programs

"Out" Rolf Kissman

Freedom and Flight:

Images from San Quentin Prison Arts Project

Tides Thoreau Center for Sustainability

January 29 through February 27, 2015


This exhibit of birds and other images of freedom developed inside San Quentin’s art studio when we learned of an opportunity to exhibit with Tides, at the Thoreau Center for Sustainability. The focus on nature that working with images of birds provided, and the shared emphasis on social justice, helped create the exhibit.

The San Quentin Prison Arts Project, like all arts in corrections programs, is based in the belief that all people deserve access to the arts and that all people have the potential for growth and change. When institutionalized individuals participate in the arts their self-esteem and outlook on the world is significantly affected. Art workshops teach self-discipline, problem-solving, and concentration. The skills acquired through participation in the arts are translated to many other parts of one’s life.

Bringing art opportunities and education to people in institutions has been shown to help lower recidivism rates and improve lives. We all benefit from this program because it helps to break the costly cycle of incarceration and former inmates are more able to work and contribute to society upon their release. This is especially important because over 90% of current inmates will return to our communities.

The Prison Arts Project is the major program of the William James Association, which started in 1977. It was the original model for Arts-in-Corrections, a statewide prison arts program which ran from 1980-2010. California is just now reviving an Arts-in-Corrections Pilot Program through the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Arts Council.

Effects of Arts-in-Corrections Programs: A new one-year study of inmates in four California correctional institutions revealed that arts programs improve prisoners’ behavior and their attitudes about themselves. This helps them to then pursue other academic and vocational opportunities.

This helps to confirm the research from the 1980’s, when a pair of studies found that participants in the AIC program had 75% fewer disciplinary actions and a 27% lower recidivism rate than the general prison population. This translated into reduced incarceration costs to the public, as well as improved lives.

To learn more about the program or these studies please visit www.PrisonArtsProject.org

China Brotsky Art Gallery | Reception Thursday, January 29, 5:00PM to 8:00PM



Put us on your Calendar!

See the Thoreau Google events calendar for details on art shows, exhibits, openings, receptions, film screenings, brown bag series

Past Exhibits & Programs

For a sample of our past events, please browse our past events, and artists section.

Whole Earth Library

Review our library's selection of multi-media resources, and permanent online catalog: http://library.thoreau.org.

To use library resources, you must become a member. It is FREE to become a Whole Earth Library member, yet you just need to complete a membership registration form at the front desk at Tides, located in building 1014, or by contacting Bruce DeMartini at bruce(at)thoreau.org

To access the library, please request a key from Arlyn Bull at Tides' front desk. You must leave some form of identification with Arlyn in return for the key to the library. If you wish to check out a book, Arlyn will check it out for you. Please don't take books out of the library without checking them out first. We rely on the users to maintain and help sustain the library's collection so others can share its resources.


Librarian: abull(at)tides.orgArlyn Bull

Library Hours:
Monday through Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM (PT)