Click here to visit The Only Door I Can Open: Women Exposing Prison Through Art and Poetry Virtual Exhibition.
The Only Door I Can Open: Women Exposing Prison Through Art and Poetry is a visual art exhibition curated from within the Central California Women’s Facility at Chowchilla (CCWF) by Tomiekia Johnson and Chantell-Jeannette Black of Empowerment Avenue in partnership with MoAD and Flyaway Productions. Through the work of five visual artists and two poets, the exhibition makes visible the invisible women in prison through their own words and images—building empathy and empowering viewers to take action.
The online exhibition, which features artworks, poems, and a zine, also includes an opportunity for viewers to write letters to the artists and a call to action for those who would like to advocate for change.
This exhibition originated as part of Flyaway Productions’ multi-year exploration of the experiences of people impacted by incarceration. The partnership between Flyaway Productions, Empowerment Avenue (EA) and Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) began in 2020 with the digital exhibition Meet Us Quickly: Painting for Justice from Prison, curated from prison by Rahsaan Thomas (Executive Director of EA) and composed of artworks by men at San Quentin. The Only Door I Can Open: Women Exposing Prison Through Art and Poetry is a repeat collaboration focused on the experiences of women from the Central California Women’s Facility, curated from that prison by Chantell-Jeannette Black and Tomiekia Johnson. The exhibition is one facet of Flyaway’s project If I Give You My Sorrowswhich explores women’s complex relationships to their beds.