Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Incarcerated Artist Wins International Award
Frankfort, KY –A Kentucky inmate won first place at the Fourth Annual International Assemblage Art Competition, sponsored by Gallery 24 in Berlin. Marvin Francis was among 55 artists throughout the world that were chosen to participate.
Francis, the first place winner, is incarcerated at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville. He is a self-taught artist that works mainly in paper mache and his sculptural pieces depict aspects of prison life as well as life on the outside. His work is in the permanent collection of the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead and he is included in the archives of the internationally renowned American Folk Art Museum in New York.
Gallery 24 in Berlin will have an exhibit of Francis’ work in 2007 and additional pieces will be shown in Gallery 24 in Paris.
The second place winner, Steve Armstrong, also has ties to the Kentucky Department of Corrections but in a much different role. Armstrong and his wife Diane Kohlo are both artists that have been instrumental in organizing the art program at the Green River Correctional Complex in Central City.
He is well known for his wood sculptures of folk art and automata. Armstrong’s interest in clocks in ancient European cities has influenced the integration of gears into his work allowing moving parts.
He is represented by the Heike Pickett Gallery in Versailles, and the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco.