[Ppnews] Portland Art Show by Tom Manning, U.S. Political Prisoner

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 16 08:35:30 EDT 2006


USM ART GALLERIES
NEWS RELEASE

To download high-res images a visit our hidden media Website at
   http://www.usm.maine.edu/gallery/media.htm
or contact Gail Platts at gail.platts at maine.edu for more information

Can't Jail the Spirit: Art by Political Prisoner Tom Manning and Others
   USM Area Gallery, Woodbury Campus Center, Portland
Bedford Street, Portland
Friday, September 1st ­ Friday, October 20th

Opening reception: Friday, Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m.
Serving free organic food by Portland Victory Garden Project, Remarks   by
well-known activist Ray Luc Levasseur
Followed with a performance by the Boston-based troupe Presente

Symposium: Changes in Activism, Political Repression,
and Subversive Art 1960s-Present
Wednesday, Oct. 4, 11:45-1 p.m.
Area Gallery, Woodbury Campus Center
Speakers: Ray Luc Levasseur, Carolyn Eyler, USM philosophy professor
George Caffentzis, with a shadow puppet performance by the Flying   Crow
Theater of Portland.

The provocative exhibit titled Can't Jail the Spirit: Art by
Political Prisoner Tom Manning and Others will ponder the questions   How
far should citizens go in protesting their government? and How   should
that government treat its dissidents? Through the exploration   of local
history and related art, this exhibit explores the protest   actions taken
against the U.S. Government in the 1970's and 80's by   former Portland
resident Tom Manning and his companions . Tom Manning   is a Vietnam
veteran, working class revolutionary, and US political   prisoner
currently being held in a maximum security prison in West   Virginia. He
was sentenced to 53 years in federal prison for a series   of bombings
carried out as “armed propaganda” against apartheid and   U.S.
imperialism. Manning was also sentenced to 80 years in prison   for what
he claimed was a self-defense killing of a New Jersey state   trooper. The
exhibit, organized by The Portland Victory Garden
Project (PVGP) and USM Art Galleries, features Manning’s paintings of
international political prisoners, freedom fighters, the struggling
poor, and documentation of his protest actions. The exhibit also
includes art by community members and USM art students.

The opening reception will begin with remarks by well-known activist   Ray
Luc Levasseur. Levasseur was imprisoned for 20 years in maximum   security
prisons, including Administrative Maximum (ADX) in Florence,   Colorado,
for building a revolutionary resistance movement which   bombed U.S.
corporations and military facilities in protest of their   role in
supporting the racist apartheid system in South Africa and   the U.S.
violence against the people of Central America. Levasseur's   remarks will
be followed with a performance by the Boston-based
troupe Presente, which uses spoken word, music, and visuals to speak   the
words of the political prisoners in the U.S..

USM Art Gallery Director Carolyn Eyler states “'Can’t Jail the
Spirit' invites us to stop our busyness for a moment and contemplate
perhaps for the first time, jailed dissidents whose visages have been
painstakingly brought to life by Tom Manning and other artists. The
exhibit is also rich in its documentation of a series of events that
personally affected many Portlanders. Galleries are arenas for
engaging viewers in art and the sometimes controversial issues an
exhibit may explore. USM and its Area Gallery do not necessarily   share
the particular stances taken in the exhibited work. In fact,   this
exhibit is forged from the different voices, visions, and
missions of the artists, community organizations, USM students,
professors, and administrators involved - that’s its strength.”

Ray Luc Levasseur of PVGP remarks on the exhibit, "It's necessary to
create a dynamic that allows us to lend a voice to political
prisoners and others suffering within the American gulag. Over two
decades in prison has failed to crush Tom Manning's spirit. His art
transcends concrete and razor wire with an unyielding vision and
affirmation of life.  At a time when far too many people accept
without challenge the criminal acts of George Bush, et. al., the   exhibit
Can't Jail The Spirit conceptualizes the need for creative   expression
and resistance."

Thanks to our sponsors USM Office of Social Justice Programs, USM   Center
for Teaching, Department of Criminology, and Fairfield Inn by   Marriot.

The Area Gallery is located in the Woodbury Campus Center on Bedford
Avenue off of Forest Avenue, near the old Pier I.  Campus Center   hours
are Monday ­ Thursday 7 am-10 pm and Friday 7 am -7 pm.  For   more
information, please visit the gallery website at  HYPERLINK
"http://www.usm.maine.edu/gallery" http://www.usm.maine.edu/gallery   or
call USM Art Galleries at 207/780/5008. To contact Portland
Victory Garden, call 761-1504 or email HYPERLINK
"mailto:pvg at riseup.net"pvg at riseup.net.

Tom Manning is a Vietnam veteran, working class revolutionary, and US
political prisoner. He militantly struggled against the war in
Vietnam and supports the right of self-determination of all oppressed
peoples.  Tom Manning was captured in 1985 and sentenced to 53 years   in
federal prison for a series of bombings carried out as “armed
propaganda” against apartheid and U.S. imperialism. He was also, in   the
view of some, wrongly sentenced to 80 years in prison for what he
claimed was a self-defense killing of a New Jersey state trooper.

The Portland Victory Garden Project uses the process of growing and
distributing food to raise awareness about the urgent need for the
liberation of US political prisoners, community self-reliance,
ecological sustainability, and social change.  Portland VGP grows   food
in Portland, teaches girls and woman about medicinal herbs and   organizes
events in support of political prisoners. Portland VGP is   inspired by
and collaborates with the original Victory Gardens
Project, which was started by three Maine farmers and a Black Panther
political prisoner.  Since 1995, the Athens VGP has grown tons of
organic vegetables in the community of Athens, Maine.   The project   has
distributed these free and healthy vegetables to local community
members, urban neighborhoods, and activists.

Help Paint a Banner for "Can't Jail the Spirit"
For the "Can't Jail the Spirit" artshow, Portland Victory Gardens Project
is painting a banner for the title of the show.  We would love to have
co-collaborators on this banner.  On Saturday August 19th, we will be
painting the banner at the People's Free Space at 12 noon at the People's
Free Space, 144 Cumberland Ave in Portland.  We will have paints and
materials.  Bring your creativity and ideas.  If you can't make it but
would like to help out get in touch with us at 761-1504 or pvg at riseup.net.

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
www.freedomarchives.org 
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