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In 1974, William Murray volunteered to teach art in the maximum security units at Stillwater Prison. In 1977, he became the first full-time, state-employed art instructor in the country. During his 30+ years of teaching, Bill amassed a large quantity of inmate art. Out of the Abyss will bring 30 pieces from Bill’s collection to the general public. Each piece will be accompanied by a written explanation about Bill’s experience with the artist. Out of the Abyss will also include 15 to 20 pieces of Bill’s new work – assemblages that speak to the brutality of crime and punishment and Bill’s efforts to process the harsh realities that he encountered in his years of teaching inmates. In presenting Out of the Abyss, BTAC seeks to illuminate the power of art to raise critical questions and transform the lives of individuals and communities.
An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 12, from 6 – 8 p.m. Other events associated with Out of the Abyss include an Artist Talk on Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. and a panel discussion on Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m. featuring the Warden of Stillwater Prison, the Director of Education at Stillwater Prison, and the former Commissioner of Corrections for the State of Minnesota.
For more information, please visit: http://www.btacmn.org/3visual/at_galleries/exhibits/abyss.html