Ann Arbor Art Fair Hosts International Debut of UK & US Prison Art Exhibit

Scan to add to calendar, register for virtual event, and/or for more exhibit information.

In the depths of the covid pandemic lockdown, 31 people isolated in prisons in the UK and US produced extraordinary artworks exploring personal experiences of incarceration. UK Artist, Faye Claridge, invited participants creative responses to folk art paintings from the two countries, showing different treatment of captive bears. These, as metaphors, provided inspiration for the remarkable artworks presented in We Bear.



View this exhibition at the Ann Arbor Art Fair (Main St. & Liberty)

Thurs – Fri, July 21 – 22 – 10am – 9pm
Saturday, July 23rd – 10am – 8pm


With the Arts Council England’s support, We Bear is traveling to the US and will be showcased at the hugely popular Ann Arbor Art Fair. The University of Michigan Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP), has partnered in the project from conception and is now collaborating as co-curator for the art fair exhibit.

Join them, Thursday – Saturday, to experience the entire collection and leave your mark in the ongoing collaborative public art installation at the exhibit’s activity tent. And don’t miss their engaging live events just down the street, thanks to support from The Guild of Artists and Artisans.

The Stage on Main (William & Main St.)


Thurs, July 21st – 2pm – 4pm
Friday, July 22nd – 2:30pm – 4:30pm

The two folk art paintings inspiring participants’ responses are Man Feeding A Bear An Ear of Corn (1840, American Folk Art Museum, New York) and Bear Baiting (1830s, Compton Verney Art gallery & Park, Warwickshire).

At the Stage on Main, in the parking lot next to Palio Restaurant at the corner of William & Main, hear first hand the captivating stories of artists who have created art inside prison, celebrate the spoken words of writers who are currently/formerly incarcerated, and be swept away by musical performances from the U-M Men’s Glee Club.

We Bear: Behind the Scenes*


Thurs, July 14th – 2pm – 3pm
*registration required and can be found HERE.

This is an opportunity to get an exclusive look into the makings of the compelling
international collaboration, We Bear

Join the online event and experience the project in depth, with behind-the-scenes documentation, engagement with participants, and additional insights into the art.


Hear from project creator Faye Claridge, the artist participants, along with commissioners
Coventry Biennial, UK prison education provider Novus, and the director of PCAP.

“I hope this can give a glimpse into the creative minds and talent that reside in prisons and
impart some insight into the effects of mass incarceration on our populations.”

~ Darryl Rattew (US Artist)

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