Through his arresting sculptural ceramics, Paul Briggs confronts the far-reaching impact of incarceration on Black lives. Briggs brings a background in social justice advocacy as a former Baptist minister to inform his work, realizing the inherent physicality of clay and its expressive potential. In view of the fact that disproportionately Black Americans populate our prisons, his sculptures are an attempt to uncover the wider impact of incarceration that deeply damages not only those imprisoned, but also their families, and the ability of both to participate in a democratic life after incarceration.
"Cell Personae" was made possible by Minnesota voters thanks to a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council and a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The exhibition is on view at Herron courtesy of Friedman Benda, New York, New York, and is supported by the Creative Motif Fund, New York.
The exhibition will remain on view in the Marsh Gallery until April 24.
A virtual reception will take place on Zoom from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. March 31. To participate, preregister in advance online or watch the livestream at facebook.com/HerronGalleries.
Image: Paul S. Briggs, "Room with a View," from "Cell Personae," 2019. Courtesy of the artist.