Friday, September 14, 2018

Brief on the ARM Art Protest in Portland, ME

Derek, Gini, and Harry

The ARM Art Protest event at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME is over, and I am on the bus home. After all of the chaos that came with planning and traveling, I am relieved that the event is completed.

The trip to Portland was a complete disaster. Amtrak sent my luggage to a mill in Richmond. I would love to know how that happened. I arrived in Portland without most of the art for the event. Thankfully, my travelling companion had a half dozen pieces of art, and some entries were photos and graphic arts, so I spent all of Tuesday buying last minute supplies for the event. I had a dozen pieces to work with so it was enough to fill a display.

My travelling companion, Gini, and I stopped by Lowe's to pick up supplies when Gini spotted a 6 foot growling Halloween decoration. Since USM's mascot is a Husky dog, and the werewolf looks kind of like a husky, Gini had the idea we should buy it for the art show. It turned out to be a good idea, since ol’  Harry got a lot of attention. We placed a torn US Constitution in his hands. (One student said it looked like the USM president, others thought it was the mascot.)

Gini and I arrived about 7:30am and started setting up. We were later assisted by Tigger from the website. It did not take long before people started stopping to talk to us. The majority of those who stopped listened to us and were open to hearing a viewpoint. I am used to having Tom as my protest partner, and we typically maintain an informal count of yays and nays; the USM attendees were mostly receptive, so mostly yays. There were a couple of nays; one guy drove by twice to shout obscenities, and one woman was triggered by the sign saying shame on USM President Glenn Cummings. She said people should not be shamed, which was ironic given the fact she had just stated she supported the registry.

The rest of the art finally arrived at noon, so I left Gini alone to pick up the package with the art, so Gini had to deal with the lunch crowd alone. She had to deal with a couple of MeToo campus feminists alone but she handled them like a pro. By 12:30, we finally had the rest of the art out for people to see. (Sadly, the diorama and a couple of pics did not survive the trip, thanks to Amtrak mishandling of the luggage.) We stayed out until 4:30pm.

We did not attract any media (except from the USM Free Press, the student newspaper), and Amtrak compromised the entire operation by shipping my luggage to Virginia,  but we managed to salvage the operation and make it a success. I could not have done it first and foremost without Gini from SOSEN,  who rode the train all weekend to attend. I also want to thank Tigger from SOSEN for helping especially during the busy part of the day. Also, thanks to all the artists and supporters who donated to this project. I hope this has not only inspired fellow activists to engage in more public events, but educate those we have spoken with and broaden their horizons.

More pics from the event:

Saturday, September 8, 2018

ARM Art-Protest “Life on the List”: List of Art works for the event

Below is a list of the art for the ARM Protest Event on Wednesday the 12th of September, 2018

ARM Art-Protest “Life on the List”: List of Art works

1. ARM Logo on Brochure
Created by: Anonymous, NY
About: The ARM Logo is a take on the Statue of Liberty with the torch forming a flaming sword and a shield. This particular version is created in a Goth style.

2. ARM Banner
Created by: Anonymous, AK
About: ARM logo utilizing the Statue of Liberty, popular with many registry reformists

3. “Bookville aka Thank You Ron Book” (Diorama)
Created By: Jon of SOSEN
About: Inspired by the continuous homeless registrant crisis created by lobbyist Ron Book in Miami FL

4. “Safe Harbor” (Ship/ Lighthouse Painting w/ red background)
Created by: Jon of SOSEN
About: Looking for a safe place after facing the ostracism of being on the list

5. “Isolation” (Black nighttime painting with full moon)
Created by: Jon of SOSEN
About: Symbolizing the isolation experienced from living on the list

6. “Forsaken Sunset” (Sunset w/ two sets of palm trees on each side)
Created by: Jon of SOSEN
About: A sunset the artist thought he may never see again now that he is on the list

7. “Blackballed” (Painting of Baseball player w/ Newspaper Headline)
Created by: Derek Logue of
About: Inspired by the Oregonian’s attack on a college baseball player who was convicted of a sex crime as a juvenile, derailing his career

8. “Survivor” (Sketch of two hands with “Survivor” tattoo)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: A number of women arrested for sex crimes also struggle to survive

9. “Forever Judged” (Sketch of House with hateful signs)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: A common fear among prisoners facing release is impending life of the list rousing hatred by the neighbors

10. “Monster-Damned” (Abstract face with words “Monster” and “Damned”)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: Illustration of how ashamed one feels at being on the list

11. Trapped” (Sketch of man with finger pointing at him)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: Those on the list feel as if a finger is constantly pointing at them

12. “Lips of Truth” (lips with descriptions)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: A reminder that there is a person with real feelings behind every name on the list

13. “Invisible” (face in box with various words)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: An illustration of the various labels we feel people mentally tattoo to our faces

14. “Voices in my head” (Sketch of woman holding her hands up to her ears)
Created by: Anonymous at Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: Sometimes our own guilt and shame works to attack us

15. Untitled Poem
Created by Sarah Mcleod, Perryville AZ Women’s Prison
About: A poem about the cycle of abuse

16. "The Eye in the Sky" (Face in sky with pyramid and tears)
Created By: Anonymous, Perryville AZ Women's Prison
About: "We will be watched all our lives”

17. "Notch" (Girl with ball and chain and bucket)
Created by Tina, Perryville AZ Women's Prison
About: "Another notch in the belt of the SO requirements never-ending punishment.”

18. “Wounded and Unwanted” Intentionally blurred pictures of man sitting in depressed slump)
Kawika (pronounced kah-VEE-kah) of Hawaii
About: “A man who hates himself for what he did but cannot move on with his life due to the constant shame thrust upon him.”

19. “Death of Christ” (Aztec-esque painting of Christ)
Created by: Unknown
About: Piece auctioned at the National Association for Rational Sex Offense Laws (NARSOL) Conference 2012; prison art (and religion) is a common means of financial and emotional support for inmates

20. “Left Behind/ Left Out” (Lonely baseball left on field)
Created by Gini of
About: Symbolic of park bans and of being forgotten

21. “Banished” (Face peeking out behind a tree in the forest)
Created by Gini of
About: A person looks afar at places he can no longer visit because of his status

22. “Censored” (Censored sign over mouth with social media logos)
Created by Derek Logue of
About: A number of online businesses that deny their services to registered citizens and/or attempt to silence them altogether

23. Shalom (sketch of two friends with word “Shalom”)
Sent by Joy M, Brooksville CI in FL
About: Despite the label, a female offender has a caring friend while she serves time at Hernando CI in Brooksville FL. They share words of encouragement, hope, and peace

24. Isolation By Association (Punk/ cyborg-esque sketch)
Sent by Joy M, Brooksville CI in FL
About: Submitted by a 14 year old daughter of a female offender in Brooksville FL. She expresses in her art what she can’t find the words to say out loud, as represented by stitched lips. The button over her right eye shows the distortion she feels toward herself as the result of how society sees her- the child of her mother who is Once Fallen.

25. Inmate Bob 100761 (Old man in prison garb)
Sent by Joy M., Brooksville CI in FL
About: Was drawn by a devoted husband of a female offender serving a 10 year sentence; she resides in the faith-based dorm. This image captures the commitment made to his wife that he also experiences the restrictions, limitations, and condemnations of society. His wife defines them as her superhero

26. “Burn Them at the Stake” (Cycle chart)
Sent by Joy M., Brooksville CI in FL
About: A perception of the criminal justice treatment process from an inmate’s perspective

27. Gorilla and Turtle (two 4x6 colored sketches)
Submitted by: Joel Kline of IL
About: Prison artist cards are often created and sold to pass time as well as buy other things in the prison economy

28. Bad Dog! (Husky shredding Constitution)
Submitted by: Derek Logue of
About: This is pretty much why we are here; USM shredded the 1st Amendment by censoring the art from a registered citizen

29. Scarlet Letter
Submitted by: Anonymous in NY
About: The feelings about being labeled as a registrant as a dark person whose heart is on display