Founded in 2015 by London-based artist Nicola White, Art Reach is a charity which gives purpose and hope to death row inmates in the US, providing art materials, regular meaningful contact, and the opportunity to exhibit their work here in the UK. To support the valuable work that Nicola is doing to support some of America’s most ostracised citizens, and to recognise the human rights of death row inmates in the US and beyond, we will be dedicating the next few weeks to the artwork and writing of the men she supports at San Quentin Prison, California.
IN-SIGHT: ANTHONY NAVARRO (#G25971)
Anthony Navarro draws whilst listening to music and would often toss the pictures away or give them to fellow inmates. The Town I Live In – a pencil and pen Chicano style drawing depicting San Quentin – was given to another inmate who sent it to Nicola, who then wrote to Anthony to encourage him to carry on drawing.
In his own words:
“When I listen to music, I drift back to better days of my life when life was good, and I hold beautiful memories, and some not so nice, but all part of life. I was raised by my Grandma and when she passed I ran away and went to the wrong path of life. Can you believe that I went from an altar boy in private Catholic schools to San Quentin death row? Wow, what a game changer.
“Drifting on a Memory – the rose, a beauty of life. The guy is my older brother Romeo, who passed away. The girl, the love of his life. The car is one of my favourites, for I had two Chevy Impalas. Myself, the man looking through the key hole. He is looking out from in, wishing he was home as I do. Life is hard here, but I always ask my Grandma, from where she may be, to always be with me, and honestly things are okay so far. I know God has plans for me.
Be sure to pop along to THE ART OF TRANSFORMATION: Redemption versus Death at the Old Deptford Cinema before the end of April to witness in full effect the many talents of San Quentin’s death row artists.