Art is many things. It adds color to a once empty wall. It creates ambiance and can transport the viewer for a few moments. Art makes people happy or it can take them back in time to a memory once lost. It enhances our lives in many ways.
Art has different meanings for different people. For one person art is more than just about putting brush strokes down on canvas. Darren Morris aka Dar Ren is that person. He was incarcerated at the young age of 17 in the state of Wisconsin for being party to a crime. Dar Ren's story is riddled with abuse starting as a young child and never having the opportunity to feel safe or protected by his own family members setting him on a path to associate with the wrong people.
I wase contacted last year about showcasing his artwork in the gallery. At the time I was not sure if we could as our call for art's help us keep the doors of the gallery open. By hosting a show like this meant we were loosing funds and hosting it on our own. After many emails and thinking it over I knew we needed to share his work with the public. I knew we needed to help him give him a voice. His voice is not heard while being locked up behind bars, often being sent to solitary confinement. His artwork is more than just paintings, they are deep and intimate stories of what it is like to be imprisoned for life without a chance of parol. His words are sad yet inspiring. Even with all he has been through he still finds glimmers of hope and spiritual guidance.
It has been a learning experience for us hosting his solo show. I had no idea that the state of Wisconsin allows incarnation of minors. How is this even possible? Think of all the things you did in your teens when you are hanging with the wrong crowd or just doing stupid shit. Yet, we still live in a society where we are not all treated equal. We try to set examples of the law by putting children behind bars. Children who need therapy, need mental illness support and to just be cared for humanly.
We thank those of you who came out to see the show and to write in the guest book for Dar Ren and leave messages for him which we are mailing out after the show closes on Feb. 19th, 2022.
Art for him is healing. Art for him is a way to share his message. Art for him is a lifeline to the outside. Art is more than just something to look at and decorate our homes with. Art is an integral way to share messages that may otherwise be lost. Please visit his website and read about his art and order prints on his website.
We invite you to help us continue to bring you thought provoking exhibitions. Become a sponsor, member or donate today. Thank you for your continued support.