Osborne Family Gallery – In a nation that incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, LGBTQ+ prisoners face a greater risk of physical and sexual victimization. They are more likely to experience assault and abuse by corrections officers as well as other prisoners, and less likely to have support from family and friends on the outside, due to their sexuality or gender identity. Behind bars, their identities are stripped away and they become just another number in the system.
Check the UNO Libraries website for details about upcoming On the Inside events:
- Speaker Event: June 13, 2022, 1 P.M. via Zoom; Peggy Jones and Steve Langan. Register for this event here.
- On the Inside Curator Talk: July 12, 2022, 1 P.M. via Zoom; Tatiana von Furstenberg, project creator, and Eline Mul, exhibit designer. Register for this event here.
- On the Inside reception: July 14, 2022, 4-6 P.M.; Osborne Family Gallery, Criss Library
On the Inside is a group show of LGBTQ+ artists who are currently incarcerated. The art is made from basic materials the prisoners have access to behind bars: mostly letter sized paper, dull pencils, ball-point pen ink tubes (the hard shell is deemed too dangerous), and unlikely innovations such as using an asthma inhaler with Kool-Aid to create an airbrushed painting.
The exhibit is the culmination of a multi-year project conceived of by Tatiana von Furstenberg in collaboration with Black & Pink. The project started with a small ad in the Black & Pink newsletter, a monthly publication filled with prisoner-generated content, sharing stories about prison life. Ignited and inspired by this call for art, more than four thousand pieces were submitted. Our forgotten brothers and sisters seized the opportunity to be heard, giving birth to this collective exhibition.
Forced to cope with a non-inclusive society, many marginalized Americans end up incarcerated due to a lack of resources and privilege. All too often these essential voices are silenced, in this case, because they are locked behind concrete and steel. Through the lens of art, we on the outside have the opportunity to bear witness to the suffering, and also celebrate the resilience of the artists who are locked up.
The art on these walls demonstrates the ability of those who are suffering to still create beauty. Each of the pieces tells a story and these are stories we must listen to. None of the artists will be in attendance as they are still behind bars, however, their works create cracks in the walls, allowing this much needed point of view to escape for the world to see.
The exhibit will be on display in the Osborne Family Gallery from May 20 – July 31, 2022. The gallery is open during Criss Library’s regular hours of operation.
On the Inside at UNO Libraries was coordinated by Claire Du Laney, the Outreach Archivist at Criss Library. On the Inside at UNO Libraries is funded in part by the Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Funding was also provided by the UNO Goldstein Center for Human Rights, the Goldstein Family Community Chair in Human Rights, and the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media DEAI Committee. Support was provided by the UNO Department of Black Studies and the UNO Women's and Gender Studies program.
Please Note: Topics covered in this exhibit may include physical, psychological, and gender-based violence. Viewers may find some of the stories told through the artwork upsetting or triggering.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha Libraries
UNO Libraries fulfill the UNO mission through dynamic services, highly qualified and adaptive personnel, unique and extensive collections, and accessible learning spaces and environments. With its two locations, Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library on UNO’s Dodge Campus and in KANEKO-UNO Library located in Omaha’s Old Market, UNO Libraries provides UNO students, faculty and staff, and the Omaha community with the resources and materials needed to excel academically and professionally.
About the UNO Goldstein Center for Human Rights
The Leonard and Shirley Goldstein Center for Human Rights (GCHR) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha was established Dec. 1, 2017. It is a faculty led unit in the College of Arts and Sciences designed to facilitate and catalyze increased human rights-related academic offerings, research, as well as local and international community outreach, partnerships and programming. The GCHR builds on existing strengths across multiple UNO colleges and departments, and a longstanding lectureship in human rights sponsored by UNO’s Religious Studies program. It is intended to foster the interdisciplinary partnerships essential to the study of human rights. The GCHR was created in tandem with the new Goldstein Family Community Chair in Human Rights.
About the Nebraska Arts Council
Formed in 1974 by an act passed in the Nebraska Legislature, Nebraska Arts Council is comprised of 15 board members appointed by the Governor of Nebraska. Together, the board and staff partner with the State of Nebraska, National Endowment for the Arts, and Nebraska Cultural Endowment—a unique partnership among the state and private contributors.
About Humanities Nebraska
On the Inside exhibit is one of many grants funded by Humanities Nebraska (HN). HN awards more than $257,000 in grants each year.
Created in 1973 as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Nebraska (HN) is an independent, non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of public and academic members. Humanities Nebraska funds programs that explore Nebraska's heritage, build community awareness, and strengthen our ties to cultural traditions at home and abroad.
The Nebraska Cultural Endowment is a public/private partnership that designates funds to HN for distribution.
Any non-profit group is eligible to apply for a grant from HN. The HN staff is available for grant consultation and will read proposal drafts. Contact the HN office if you need assistance with a project idea.
For a copy of Humanities Nebraska grant guidelines, contact HN at 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 330, Lincoln, NE 68508, phone 402-474-2131, fax 402- 474-4852, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The entire grant guideline packet is online at: www.humanitiesnebraska.org.
About Black and Pink
A nationally networked grassroots organization, including nine chapters across the United States, working to meet the immediate needs of LGBTQ+ prisoners while simultaneously building the movement for the abolition of the prison industrial complex. Black & Pink is the largest organization of LGBTQ+ prisoners ever, reaching 10,000 prisoners with their monthly newspaper of prisoner-generated content. Black & Pink has facilitated the connection of thousands of prisoners with outside pen pals and continues to grow those relationships.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness, and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.
For more information about including events and announcements in the Criss Library News Center, email us at email@example.com.
Unless otherwise clearly stated, any views or opinions expressed as part of events, exhibitors, or presenters in the UNO Libraries (Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library and the KANEKO-UNO Library) should not be viewed as endorsements by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and do not reflect the official position of UNO or the University of Nebraska system.