Images can trigger conversations, sometimes far better than words. Internationally known political cartoonist Patrick Chappatte and journalist Anne-Frederique Widmann have come together to organize a one of a kind exhibition, entitled WINDOWS ON DEATH ROW: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls.
It features over 60 works of some of the most famous American political cartoonists as well as artworks drawn from a more unlikely source, death row inmates. By presenting a variety of perspectives, from both inside and outside of the prison walls, Chappatte and Widmann hope to stimulate conversation on an issue that touches politics, race, morality, and the question of equality under the law.
The exhibition includes educational materials and interactive displays that allow viewers to engage directly with the complex and challenging subject matter. Using art as a tool for social awareness, it opens a window into an often hidden part of the ongoing conversation about capital punishment - exploring the system through the eyes of the incarcerated. At a moment when our country is becoming ever more polarized regarding racial injustice and economic inequality, these questions that the exhibition raises could not be more timely.
WINDOWS ON DEATH ROW opened at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communication on October 22, 2015. The touring exhibition then moved to UNC Chapel Hill, from January to March 2016. For its international premiere, it was presented in Geneva and Morges, Switzerland, in March 2016, followed by Oslo, Norway, in June 2016, and Delémont, Switzerland, on June 9-11, 2017. It was hosted at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University from November 2016 to March 2017, then moved to the O'Kane Gallery, University of Houston-Downtown, Texas from July to August 2017. For the last stop of its U.S. tour, the exhibition was on view at Columbia School of Law, in New York, from September 2017 to January 2018.
Parts of the show were displayed at the Fumetto comics festival of Lucerne, Switzerland, and Germany's Erlangen comics festival in 2018.
CARRYING ON THE TORCH... Windows on Death Row gave birth to two separate artistic projects by the exhibition co-founders: a comics journalism series in the New York Times, "Inside Death Row" by Patrick Chappatte (2016), and a documentary film, "Free Men" by Anne-Frédérique Widmann (2018). Watch the trailer here.