Marin Arts & Culture MAC_JUNE_upload - Page 41

of Prison Arts Touching Hearts [P.A.T.H.]. “All of them, plus a number of original poems, are the visual ‘voices’ of inmate artists who celebrate the history and the beauty of the island and, from their own perspective, understand the pain of isolation, suffering, rejection and solitude experienced by every inmate.” receiving the artwork in the mail, Lakes says that she was “blown away” by the sheer talent, and was driven to address her appreciation to the artist. From befriending and mentoring one incarcerated artist, through P.A.T.H., Lakes now corresponds with more than 80 artists, illustrators and poets, almost all of whom are still behind bars, and all with a sincere desire to selflessly share their gifts with the outside world. Lakes feels that although their bodies are locked behind bars, their souls are still free, and that it is only through their art that these gifted and talented incarcerated artists get to experience freedom. An accomplished visual artist in her own right, Lakes was originally inspired to promote incarcerated artists after attending the 5th Annual Prisoner Art Show in New York in 2005, sponsored by the Fortune Society.  After securing the winning bid on one piece and "Testament of Time" by Victor Garcia; California (green pen on paper) "Pelican Passage" by Omar Avila; California (black pen on paper) “P.A.T.H. is a labor of love born out of my belief that art is a universal language, regardless of race, class or position in society,” says Lakes. “It is a much needed platform to showcase the work of many extraordinarily talented artists who "Al Capone" by Ely Legerdemain; Utah (mixed medium on paper) MARIN ARTS & CULTURE 41