Future IDs are Free presents identification-card artwork produced during a month-long workshop at San Quentin Prison. The Backroom Gallery will also serve as a venue for public programs, meetings and workshops.
Future IDs is a socially engaged project comprising art and future planning workshops across California with system-involved individuals, artists, social justice advocates and public participants. It is part of a larger artwork about individual stories of transformation and how, collectively, those stories can help reframe the narrative of re-entry.
While in residence at the Montalvo Art Center, Gregory has been building Future IDs with partners at San Quentin Prison, and the Backroom Gallery will host him as he continues to develop the network of relationships and partnerships that make this kind of work possible. He'll be inviting people to meet with him in the gallery space, while presenting snapshots of his process and practice on the walls. The exhibition is really a window for the public into this developing collaborative artwork.
The project was designed by artist Gregory Sale with members of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) – Aaron Mercado, Dominique Bell, Dr. Luis Garcia, Jose Gonzalez, Ryan Lo, and Kirn Kim. Founded by Hollywood producer Scott Budnick, ARC is a network of community advocates, allies and members who are committed to justice reform. ARC members share their turnaround stories with elected officials to convince them that rehabilitation is possible. ARC’s work has led to more humane sentencing laws for juveniles and restored budgets for prison college programs.
Special thanks for the participation and contributions of Anthony Vasquez-Ramirez, Bruce Fowler, Darren Rhinehardt, Fredrick Tinsley, Gary Harrell, Gerald Morgan, Jerome Watts, Jimmy Vue, Khalifah Christensen, Lumumbar Edwards, Mark Stan-Bey, Nicola Bucci, Noah Wright, Omid Mokri, Ronell (Rauch) Draper, Scott McKinstry and Thomas R. Tongpalan.
This iteration would not have been possible without the support of Carol Newborg, Program Manager, San Quentin Arts in Corrections; William James Association, and Montalvo Arts Center Lucas Artist Residency Program. Thanks to Adobe Books Backroom Gallery Curator Eliza Gregory for the invitation to inhabit the space. The investigation has received support from the Creative Capital Foundation, SPArt (social practice art), and the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts, Arizona State University.
For two years, Gregory Sale has served as an ally and embedded artist with ARC. Future IDs is the first major project stemming from their partnership, adding a visual and cultural component to the individual growth and advocacy work that ARC and its members undertake.
As a socially-engaged artist, Sale has developed partnerships with stakeholders spanning political positions from the far left–Angela Davis–to the far right–Sheriff Joe Arpaio. His aim is to soften and collapse boundaries, thereby encouraging reciprocal dialogue and mutual learning. It’s not just black and white (2011) at ASU Art Museum wrestled with the visual motifs and clichés of crime (striped uniform, pink underwear, and even brown skin) that Arizona’s infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio has manipulated for political advantage. Sale is now undertaking a series of projects focused on the challenges of reentering society after incarceration. He recently completed Rap Sheet to Resume (2015-16), a workshop and social practice project for the New York-based Urban Justice Center. Based in Phoenix and in Los Angeles, Sale is Associate Professor of Intermedia and Public Practice at Arizona State University.