Unit 2: A Retrospective at Carlos Gallery, University of the South

Unit 2: A Retrospective - A collaboration between students and faculty of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, and prisoners in Unit 2 – the death row unit – at Tennessee’s Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville.

February 27 – March 29, 2015
Artist talk and opening reception Friday, February 27 at 4:30 PM

The Carlos Gallery in the Nabit Art Building at University of the South is pleased to present Unit 2: A Retrospective, A collaboration between students and faculty of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, and prisoners in Unit 2 – the death row unit – at Tennessee’s Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville.

This exhibition features the results of an extended collaboration between art students, faculty and prisoners whose efforts have resulted in number of exhibitions in the Nashville area, including a show of collaborative drawings and photographic projects, a diorama addressing cycles of incarceration, and an exhibition of gifts given to its visitors on opening night. The works included in this show display an unlikely dialogue across the walls of prison, and they address the aspiration to transcend, albeit imaginatively, the complex and forbidding realities of incarceration and death.

The artists who worked on the exhibition are as follows:

Abu Ali Abdur’Rahman, Mika Agari, Audrey Arroyo, Heather Barrie, Justin Braun, Holly Carden, Ann Catherine Carter, Ron Cauthern, Tyrone Chalmers, Jessica Clay, Amy Clutter, Gary Cone, Marcus Davidson, David Duncan, John Freeland, Robert Grand, Tom Griscom, Kristi Hargrove, Kennath Artez Henderson, Akil Jahi, Nickolus Johnson, Seth Lykins, Donald Middlebrooks, Upreyl Mitchell, Wayne Nichols, Robin Paris, Derrick Quintero, Zack Rafuls, Sara Schork, Sharon Stewart, Donald Strouth (“Ironhawk”), Alanna Styer, Dennis Suttles, Josh Ungurait, Haley Vanhoy, Moses Williams, Tom Williams, Weng Tze Yang, Jayme Yeo, and Barbara Yontz.

Carlos Gallery
Nabit Art Building
105 Kennerly Road
University of the South
Sewanee, Tennessee

gallery hours: Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 5:00PM, Saturday and Sunday 1:00 –

contact: Jessica Wohl     931.598.1256        jewohl@sewanee.edu


Upreyl Mitchell and Kennath Artez Henderson, Untitled, gelatin silver print with acrylic paint, 8 x 10 in.


Robin Paris and Tom Williams with writing by Harold Wayne Nichols, Surrogate Project for Harold Wayne Nichols: The Night Sky Series, ink on archival pigment print, dimensions variable


Harold Wayne Nichols and Holly Carden, Untitled, mixed media on paper, 14 x 17 in.

hold fast low res
Portraits from The Gift: Unit 2 (part 3), February 1-22, 2014, Nostos Gallery, Nashville

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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: https://www.facebook.com/events/284384441765820/?ref_dashboard_filter=hosting

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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