In-Sight: The Artists and Writers of San Quentin Prison – Charles Stevens (#H-87500)

Untitled CS3
Untitled by Charles Stevens

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.


Charles Stevens
Charles Stevens was sentenced to death in 1993.

Charles enjoys painting vividly coloured acrylic pictures of nature and wildlife. In 2013, someone gave Charles some paints and so one day, when he was bored, he pulled out the paints and began to paint.

When Charles is painting, he is very much in the moment. Time passes by and he gains a great sense of accomplishment. He is proud that he is making progress day by day and feels he has greatly improved since he first started.

For Charles, art is what ever pleases the eye and it allows him to see and appreciate what is around him. What he would love to achieve, is to be able to paint anything at all that he sees. He says “Art is a personal entity that draws ones attentions.” He is happy to think that people will be gaining enjoyment from looking at his work.

His attorney says: “Charles paints under the worst of conditions—solitary confinement in a small and cramped prison cell. It is extraordinary that he is able to turn out so much work in spite of these circumstances. Painting transports my client to a magical place, beyond the bars, where his mind freely soars.”

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.


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Tickled Inc. joins together a unique pool of writers and artists from diverse backgrounds, bringing into focus through their work and personal experiences the issues that affect us in the contemporary world.