One Day I Will Walk Into The Umbrella
ONE DAY I WILL WALK INTO THE UMBRELLA
March 2 - April 5
Black Box Gallery
The Umbrella is proud to present the exhibit, One Day I Will Walk Into The Umbrella, featuring the work of Justin Printice Douglass. Justin was the winner of The Umbrella’s drawing contest at the Concord Prison Farm in 2015 and created these works while incarcerated in the Northeast Correctional Center in Concord and the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Norfolk.
Justin and I began a correspondence that lasted through his release in April of 2019. During our correspondence, he sent me over forty drawings and poems, each accompanied by a letter. Seen in whole, this correspondence documents the story of his circumstance, his family, his faith, and his passion to create.
Although materials were hard to come by while incarcerated, Justin experimented with several mediums including oil pastels, graphite, and colored pencils. He noted about one piece: “I drew it on my bunk, it’s very odd. But I managed.” It was a struggle to find the right paper and the right medium. Much of the work not shown in the exhibit were experiments mimicking Monet and other old masters. I found his black and white drawings fascinating and an appropriate focus for this exhibit.
Eleven pieces in all, this body of work tells a story of a man working to connect to his humanity. Themes of Creation, Connection, and a higher power run throughout. Background and foreground are blurred and it is easy to lose yourself in the filigree of the drawing. One can follow a path, a stream of consciousness, which in total is completely mesmerizing. You can’t help but to study the work and be curious about the artist. An artist whose story is just beginning to be told.
The Umbrella Arts Center
Note: The title of the show is picked from a 2017 letter when he was in a tough spot and confides “The Environment I’m in doesn’t really, well it’s not positive.” Yet he closes the letter by saying “One day I will walk into the Umbrella… I just wanna create Art.”
Perhaps pretty colors needed painting
Binding particals to a beautiful blend
Lost to its own creation
Stroked with no sense of direction
Grace fell as a feather
And with that, it was in bloom
More intriguing than words
So with no sense of direction
It sat in beautiful attention
Written By Justin P. Douglass
Artist Statement for Justin Douglass
I am an abstract artist. For a long time, I considered portrait artists as my advisories. Why? Because I have read throughout art history that in earlier days abstract wasn't considered an art form by ones that portray kings for kings.
Then, I began my lesson on who the originators were. I am speaking of Fauvism, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, and so many others.
My focus later on was entirely on Fauvism and abstract expressionism, a stray from reality. I pay tribute to those who have pioneered the way.