Altogether Gallery: Through Prison Eyes

Pathway to Miyo-Pimâtisiwin is a network of community-based agencies, people with lived-experience, Elders, and vested governmental agencies collaborating to provide our communities with equal access to supports. Our mission is to provide a collaborative and community-led initiative to combat the social factors that reposition some to street-based lifestyles; decrease social violence; and promote community healing. Our vision is for safe, healthy communities, where all citizens are valued and have equal access to meaningful supports, connections, and avenues to healing.

Pathway to Miyo-Pimâtisiwin acknowledges the devastating effects incarceration can have on mental health. Paired with COVID-19, it is no secret inmates around the world are grappling with the new realities of their physical and mental health over and above their imprisonment. We do not need to look far to find stories of grief, loss and sorrow around the world stemming from COVID-19 and related pandemic burnout, but with all these stories of sadness, there are also complementary stories of resilience, kindness, healing, and hope. Yet, so many of these stories leave out the voices of incarcerated people from the narrative, the majority of whom identify as BIPOC.

Art work for the Altogether Gallery: Through Prison Eyes by C. Slippery.

Pathway to Miyo-Pimâtisiwin has developed a virtual art gallery as a means to give those who are incarcerated a chance to showcase how COVID-19 has impacted them and tell the personal story of their mental health journey through art, writing, beading and other available mediums. Our intent was to create a space to give incarcerated individuals agency over their experiences and provide opportunity to connect with the community through art and story.

Art work for the Altogether Gallery: Through Prison Eyes by Tanya Sayer.

To kick-start the virtual art gallery, we held two contests: one to choose the name of the gallery and a second to submit artwork for the gallery. Through these contests, we arrived at the name of “Altogether Gallery: Through Prison Eyes”, which was a combination of two submissions by Julie McAdams and Gary Iron. The artwork chosen to represent the gallery was also by Julie McAdam and her piece titled “Through Prison Eyes” beautifully represents the gallery name.

Art work for the Altogether Gallery: Through Prison Eyes by Ceekay Bird.

Our hope is to see online art galleries such as this become more common within prison systems, as providing individuals who are incarcerated the opportunity to show the world their talent and beauty is critical to keeping that connection to community alive. Not only did inmates have the ability to receive payment for their skills and expertise, but they were also able to tell their stories, connect with culture, have their voice amplified, and take advantage of healthy ways to support their healing journey.

You can see all entries in the art gallery at the following link:

Our hope is to see online art galleries such as this become more common within prison systems, as providing individuals who are incarcerated the opportunity to show the world their talent and beauty is critical to keeping that connection to community alive. Not only did inmates have the ability to receive payment for their skills and expertise, but they were also able to tell their stories, connect with culture, have their voice amplified, and take advantage of healthy ways to support their healing journey.

Pathway to Miyo-Pimâtisiwin would like to thank the following artists who submitted work to our gallery and allowed us to share their experiences, with COVID-19 and incarceration.

  • Ricky Kayson
  • Juice the Savage
  • Ty Sangwais
  • Tanya Sayer                                       
  • Reece Fiddler                                    
  • Corey Slippery
  • Candace Lacheur                               
  • Carlos Tom                                        
  • Jasmine Ahpay
  • Chantelle Bird                                    
  • Tanya Deschamps                             
  • Savanneh Denton
  • Melissa MacQueen                            
  • Julie McAdam                                   
  • Curtis Morin
  • Jordan Baptiste                                  
  • Mike Scramstad                                 
  • JT ShaOulle
  • Iron Gray                                           
  • Francis Sylvestre

Furthermore, Pathway to Miyo-Pimâtisiwin would like to thank all those involved in the creation and implementation of this project. If it were not for your interest, dedication, and time this would not have been possible.

  • Stan Tu’Inukuafe                               
  • Marilyn Stone                        
  • Chelsea Roy
  • Andi Zografi                                      
  • Kylie Frass                            
  • Amanda Richter-Goddard
  • Carter Lovelace                                 
  • Alyssa Marinos                      
  • Richard Dubois

John Howard Society of Saskatchewan is grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people on this important project. Please share the link with your friends and family.