top of page
20210826_125659 copy.jpg

Dominic Marak, Self Portrait with Tumors, 2021. Collaged paint samples on paper, 14 x 11 inches

catalog photo.jpg

Exhibition catalog


178 pages

Essays by Debra Brehmer, M. Winston,

Tonen O'Connor, Jessica Wolfendale

and Adam Procell

Artist bios and images

Designed by Jena Sher

Printed by The Marek Group

Edited by Diane Bacha and Kurt Chandler

Photography by Daniel McCullough


10 x 8 x 0.5 inches

Perfect bound

178 pages


ISBN: 979-8-218-09012-8



Neville Museum, Green Bay

March 16 through May 19, 2024


Rahr West Museum, Manitowoc

June 4 through August 6, 2023

Free admission

Free Saturday guided tours, 1 p.m. 

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

273 E. Erie Street, Milwaukee

January 19 through March 11, 2023

Art Against the Odds is a statewide prison art exhibition, organized and curated by Portrait Society Gallery of Contemporary Art, Milwaukee, WI through its related project On the Wing (supported by fiscal receiver Feast of Crispian). With approximately 60 artists participating, the exhibition looks at the many incarcerated individuals who turn to art to survive. The project generates visibility for this invisible population, bringing a sense of humanity to the carceral system. A first of its kind, this professionally mounted, museum-scaled project showcases several room-sized installations, an environment created out of hand-written or typed letters, and hundreds of works of art, including painting, sculpture, knitting and beadwork. The exhibition is divided into six thematic sections that look at different aspects of art that is made in confinement. 

Inaugural exhibition

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design


Closing Reception

Friday, March 10, 2023

5 to 8 p.m. 

Come celebrate the conclusion of Art Against the Odds. Snacks, drinks, and reflections by the exhibition curators and artists. 

Please reserve here FREE

Film Screening

Master of Light

Tuesday, January 31 (6 p.m.) FREE

Oriental Theater, 2230 N. Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee

Presented in conjunction with The Community, Represent Justice, and Milwaukee Film.

Master of Light (2022) is a new documentary about George Anthony Morton, who spent 10 years in prison, and since

his release, “is doing everything he can to defy society’s unlevel playing field and tackle the white-dominant art world.”

This event is free but please reserve a spot here. 


Panel discussion

Thursday, February 2 (7 p.m.) FREE

Correcting the Narrative: Realities and Reform In Our Prison System

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, 273 E. Erie Street

Introductions: Peter Goldberg, former public defender

Moderator: Shannon Ross, The Community

Panelists: Bill Lipscomb, Adjunct Professor at Marquette and Former Federal Prosecutor; Claude Motley, Subject of the Emmy winning documentary “When Claude Got Shot,” Founder of The Forgiveness Project, Crime survivor, and Victim Rights Advocate; Cecelia Klingele, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Madison Law School, Former Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens; MIllie Lee, formerly incarcerated, public speaker. 

The event is free but please reserve a spot here. 


MIAD Student led panel

Wednesday, February 8 ( 6 to 7:30 p.m.) FREE

Narratives of Privilege: MIAD freshman class panel discussion

Professor Zoe Darling

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, 273 E. Erie Street

This panel presents various community members who will be interviewed by students about how they see and experience privilege and discrimination.


Panel discussion

Thursday, February 9 (7 p.m.) FREE

Carceral Aesthetics: Making art in prison

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, 273 E. Erie Street

A group of formerly incarcerated artists including John Tyson, Sarah Demerath (moderator), and Joshua Gresl will discuss their work. 


Wisconsin Humanities

Bader Philanthropies

Brico Fund

Anonymous Fund of the  Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Mary Nohl Fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Heil Family Foundation

Herzfeld Foundation

The Buck Family Foundation

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

Lisa Groskopf-Gleason 

Marianne and Sheldon Lubar

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

Feast of Crispian (Fiscal receiver)

More than 150 individuals also supported this project!


"One of the most powerful and fundamental ways to challenge the disposability of people particularly people locked away behind walls, is to make their full humanity more visible to the broader public.

Our criminal system's ability to accomplish mass human caging to an extent never before recorded depends on ignoring and erasing the people and stories of the human beings upon whom we inflict unspeakable suffering"

formerly incarcerated artist

bottom of page