Gary Cone: “Geryon’s Dog”

In this small painting on cardboard, Gary responds to Anne Carson’s novel in verse, Autobiography of Red.  Here’s an excerpt from the poem:

Eventually Geryon learned to write.His mother’s friend Maria gave him a beautiful notebook from Japan with a florescent cover. On the cover Geryon wrote Autobiography. Inside he set down the facts.

Total Facts Known About Geryon Geryon was a monster everything about him was red. Geryon lived on an island in the Atlantic called the Red Place. Geryon’s mother was a river that runs to the sea the Red Joy River Geryon’s father was gold. Some say Geryon had six hands six feet some say wings. Geryon was red so were his strange red cattle. Herakles came one day killed Geryon got the cattle.

He followed Facts with Questions and Answers.

QUESTIONS Why did Herakles kill Geryon?
1. Just violent.
2. Had to it was one of His Labors (10th).
3. Got the idea that Geryon was Death otherwise he would live forever.


Geryon had a little red dog Herakles killed that too.

- – – -From Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red (Knopf, 1998).
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Self-Portrait by Gary Cone

Violence +
Lead Us
Respond To
For Ever
Reads A
Like You
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R.E.A.C.H. Coalition Presentation at Nashville Teach-In on Mass Incarceration and the Death Penalty

Join R.E.A.C.H. Coalition for a presentation at the Nashville Teach-In on Mass Incarceration and the Death Penalty on Saturday, September 13, 10 am – 4:30 pm at the Nashville Public Library Conference Center (615 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219 – Directions and Parking Information).

11:30am – 12:30pm

R.E.A.C.H. Coalition: Reciprocal Education and Community Healing on Tennessee’s Death Row

- Tom Williams, Watkins College of Art and Design

- Robin Paris, Watkins College of Art and Design

- Scott Lyon, Vanderbilt Creative Writing Program

- Tatiana McInnis, Vanderbilt English Department

- Amy McKiernan, Vanderbilt Philosophy Department

    Room 1b

For a full schedule of the Teach-In, click here.

Sept 13 Teach-in Poster

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Information and Training Session for R.E.A.C.H. Coalition – Sept. 8

R.E.A.C.H. Coalition will be holding an information session for the general public and a and training session for new volunteers on Sept. 8, 3:30 – 5:30 pm  at Vanderbilt University, Furman Hall 132.   In the first hour, REACH members will present an overview of our past and present work with people on death row, and we’ll explain how prospective volunteers can get involved at the prison and/or on the outside. In the second hour, we will shift the focus to a training session for incoming volunteers. All are welcome!  For more information, see our Facebook event page:

REACH logo stylized

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“My Life is Outside”: Everyday Photographs from Prison

Watkins Arcade Gallery (WAG); Suite 77, upstairs in the historic Arcade, Nashville
Saturday, July 5, 6-9 p.m.

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents “My Life Is Outside”: Everyday Photographs from Prison at its downtown gallery WAG during the July 5 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl. Curated by Sharon Stewart, the show features a collection of photographs belonging to Tennessee prisoners, offering a more fully dimensional look at the personal histories, current realities and surrounding communities of these lives than may normally be seen.

Gary photo 5.87x4-1 Gary text 6x1.7-1

The title of the show borrows from a reflection shared by Riverbend Maximum Security Institution prisoner Harold Wayne Nichols. Writing on the significance of his photographs when considering his life inside versus outside of prison, he says, “My life is outside.”

Continue reading

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REACH Coalition: Philosophy and Praxis on Tennessee’s Death Row

Join REACH Coalition members Andrea Pitts, Amy McKiernan, Carmela Hill-Burke, Lisa Guenther, and Tom Williams for a panel discussion of “Philosophy and Praxis on Tennessee’s Death Row,” this Friday from 3:15pm to 5pm at Vanderbilt University, Furman Hall 109.

All are welcome!  A reception will follow.

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Unit 2 (part 3): Gifts

This month, Nostos Gallery hosted Gifts: Unit 2 (part 3), an exhibition of works made by or in collaboration with prisoners living in Unit 2 (the death row unit) of the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Northwest Nashville.

This exhibition was made up entirely of gifts for visitors to the gallery during opening night.  These objects—many knitted, many tooled in leather, many rendered in watercolor, pastel, or colored pencil—represent an effort by these prisoners to reach out from a social and political void using the modest tools they have at their disposal.  Their gesture raises the possibility that community—a community that is conjured and sustained through the gift—might extend beyond the walls of prison.  Their exhibition suggests that it might be possible, in spite of everything, to bring such a community into existence.

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