Unit 2 (part 1): Collaborative Art from Tennessee’s Death Row

Unit 2 (part 1)

Coop Gallery, 75 Arcade, Nashville
September 7-30, 2013
Opening reception on September 7, 6-9pm


Coop Gallery is pleased to present Unit 2 (part 1), an exhibition featuring collaborations between a group of local artists and 11 prisoners on Tennessee’s Death Row. The works included in this show were all made during the summer of 2013, when members of the group of artists made weekly visits to Unit 2 of the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in northwest Nashville to engage the prisoners in artistic collaborations and intensive discussions.

The show consists primarily of two types of works. It includes collaborative (or “add-on”) drawings that were handed back and forth over the course of the summer and modified with each exchange, and it also includes “surrogate projects” where the insiders asked the outsiders to do and experience things forbidden by their imprisonment. These works showcase an unlikely dialogue across the walls of prison, and they address the aspiration to transcend, albeit imaginatively, the dark realities of incarceration and death.

Members of the group will be on hand at all times during the gallery’s open hours (Fridays and Saturdays, 11-3) to answer questions about the project and about their visits to Death Row.

Unit 2 (part 1) will be the first in a series of exhibitions related to this collaboration.



About rethinkingprisons

Art, philosophy and activism from Tennessee's death row
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2 Responses to Unit 2 (part 1): Collaborative Art from Tennessee’s Death Row

  1. Colleen says:


    I just finished listening to CBC radio here in Canada. It was a documentary about solitary confinement that was interesting and well done. Your project is named on the web site and mentioned on the program. 

    In the last 8 years I’ve become aware of natural emotional health technique born of a psychologist in the United ‎States. I happen to be exposed to it when a neighbour shared a book about it since I helped her sometimes with their autistic son. She knew I had a career background in helping people become rehabilitated from physical injuries and how that can involve great mental and emotional energy.

    Anyway, I studied the technique called simply “Emotional Freedom Techniques” or “Tapping”‎ adapted by Gary Craig, a multi-carreered, Stanford-educated electrical engineer and entrepreneur, I think. I was intrigued, having seen him in action as his audiences grew larger across the United States in the 90s, despite the fact that pharmaceutical companies would have no interest in promoting this portable tool. Of course he became a millionaire, but then he offered the techniques to the world for free. Then he retired.

    It helped me greatly as I used it on myself while I learned it. I was wondering if you know about EFT. I have big ideas about something so effective that can be taught peer to peer. Maybe it could help people who are incarcerated that may be open to it?

    I wrote more the I’d planned‎. If you are interested at all in replying, please do. Any questions are welcome. I will be pursuing this idea in the next while to try to generate dialogue. I have witnessed an experiment for ptsd sufferers that also impressed me. I think it’s worth a look. Thanks for participating in all of this.

    All the best.

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