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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

7th Annual March to Stop Executions - Oct 28 2006

The 7th Annual March to Stop Executions has been scheduled for Saturday, October 28, 2006 in Austin, Texas.

Visit the page for last year's march for links to lots of pictures from past marches. The march has been held every year since 2000. It is a joint venture of many groups, including all the Texas anti-death penalty organizations and allied groups.

Photo of 2005 March.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bryan Comments on Death Penalty Art Show

Bryan McCann, a member of the Austin chapter of Campaign to End the Death Penalty, comments on the art show on May 22, 2006.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Video of "Ladies in Waiting"

Rita Fuchsberg of Vermont is the artist who created "Ladies in Waiting". She lives in Vermont. The painting was exhibited in the show "Justice for All?: Artists Reflect on the Death Penalty in Austin May 6-22 at Gallery Lombardi. Listen to Rita's audio statement describing "Ladies in Waiting

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Daniel Commenting on Death Penalty Art

Recorded on May 21, 2006 at Gallery Lombardi in Austin. Daniel comments on "Killing Words" by Russell Castillo Jr.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Michelle Speaking at Art Show

Michelle is interning at Gallery Lombardi. She is 17 years old. This video was taken on May 20, 2006 at the death penalty art show

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Art show "nothing short of powerful", says Austin Chronicle

Read the review.

The Austin Chronicle
May 18, 2006
"Justice for All? Artists Reflect on the Death Penalty"

Gallery Lombardi, through May 22
www.deathpenaltyartshow.org

Do you remember the Garbage Pail Kids Trading Cards? I think it was in the early Eighties that their disgustingly caricatured personas were all the rage. While kids traded "Sicky Vicky," a goopy girl who looked to have been covered in slime, snot, and I don't want to know what else, for "Up Chuck," and "Potty Scotty" for "Virus Iris," I guess the concept of anti-role models was being worked out in the social exchange of one disgusting character for another.

For some reason, I thought about the Garbage Pail Kids Trading Cards after seeing Annie Feldmeier Adams' entry in the Texas Moratorium Network's "Justice for All?" show on the death penalty. Yet where the Garbage Pails featured sticky, dirty characters, each of Adams' "Last Supper Trading Cards" shows only a plain, very human mouth, a number, a date, and a stark printout of what looks like a menu, listing something like liver and onions, mashed potatoes, gravy, and whole milk. While even after reading the card, I don't know who No. 247 was or what he did to be executed on June 13, 2001, I do know that he wanted old-fashioned comfort food at his last meal. I also know that No. 247 is dead now, and his card can't be traded for anything other than what it was.

The human detail illustrated through the tight graphic design of Adams' cards is part of the sentiment that runs through "Justice for All?," which was juried by Annette Carlozzi, head curator of the Blanton Museum of Art's Contemporary and American Art collection; Lora Reynolds of Lora Reynolds Gallery; and Malaquias Montoya, artist and professor at UC Davis, with assistance and support from Scott Cobb from the Texas Moratorium Network, and Gallery Lombardi curator and Chronicle arts writer Rachel Koper. Including pieces from artists worldwide, some of them longtime activists, others newcomers to the issue, and some death row inmates themselves, the show is nothing short of powerful. While the exhibition is not the overt political parade it could be, it is like artfully asking us to see the full-scale slaughter of the chicken we usually find so nicely dissected and Saran-Wrapped at HEB and to come to terms with what it takes to eat dinner as usual.

The show is not without humor (Bush gets a jab or two) and also not without provocation. Austin artist Michelle Mayer provides a video installation of another last meal, projected down on an injection bed supporting the tin dinner tray. While the tedium of eating becomes the urgency of living, the work leaves its viewer with an aching stomach unrelated to food consumption. Poor Boy, by Melinda Wing of Phoenix, is a monotype image, three times changed over the piece with the quote "poor boy / you bound to die" seemingly handwritten across the center frame. The piece implicitly references all the statistics showing how death does not come equally to the poor and the minorities who are tried in capital punishment cases, reminding the viewer that the "poor boy" quote is as much statistically more probable as it is colloquial.

While shows like this can often preach to the choir, their power and poignancy give art its legs and give all of us an opportunity, as "responsible" voters (in all senses of the word), to think through what it means to be the only industrialized nation practicing capital punishment. "Justice for All?" is a must for anyone with strong feelings, mixed feelings, or even few feelings on the death penalty.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Volunteer with us at the Democratic State Convention in Fort Worth

If you would like to volunteer at the TMN booth at the Texas Democratic Party this summer in Fort Worth June 8-10, please contact us and let us know. We need about 10 volunteers to help us collect petition signatures at the convention. In 2004, we collected more than 1700 signatures at the convention in Houston with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers. In 2004, TMN's Scott Cobb was on the platform writing committee prior to the convention and was elected to the Platform Committee by SD 14. On those committees, he persuaded the party to endorse a moratorium in the platform. This year, our goal is to keep support for a moratorium in the platform. We need your help though, so please volunteer!

In 2004, a new caucus was formed within the Democratic party called the "Death Penalty Reform Caucus". At the first meeting of the caucus at the state convention in 2004, TDP Chair Charles Soechting dropped by to tell the caucus that he supported a moratorium.

This year's meeting of the death penalty reform caucus at the Fort Worth Convention Center is in room 112 on Friday June 9 at 1 PM.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Scott Cobb appointed to Tx Democratic Party Chair's Advisory Platform Committee

TMN's Scott Cobb has been appointed to the 2006 TDP Chair's Advisory Committee on the Platform. The committee's first meeting is Wednesday, May 17, at 10 AM in the AFL-CIO building in Austin. The official party platform will be drafted and approved by the Platform Committee elected by the senatorial district caucuses at the state convention in Ft. Worth. The advisory committee is an informal group. It is virtually impossible to draft a coherent platform from scratch during the convention between 8 am on Saturday morning and the time the convention adjourns, so the advisory committee is tasked to draft a working document that the elected Platform Committee may choose to consider at the convention.

If any Democrats would like to make suggestions for the 2004 platform, please send ideas to Scott Cobb at scottcobb99@gmail.com.

The 2004 platform endorsed a moratorium on executions.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Fundraising Auction: Bid on a lunch with Sister Helen Prejean

Texas Moratorium Network is planning a fundraising auction of a lunch or dinner with Sister Helen Prejean. We will announce the details next week. The winning bidder will win an opportunity to have lunch or dinner with Sister Helen Prejean. The winning bidder will have to buy the meal, but Sister Prejean is donating her time. The winning bidder will have a private meal with the country's most famous opponent of the death penalty and be able to discuss the death penalty at length with Sister Prejean. The winning bidder must be willing to travel to Sister Prejean's home city of New Orleans for the meal. The winning bidder will have up to nine months after the auction to arrange the date for the meal that meets Sister Prejean's schedule.

Proceeds of the auction will go to help TMN in our work to stop executions in Texas.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Online gallery of artwork in Gallery Lombardi is up

We have posted the images of the artwork that was selected by the jury to be exhibited at Gallery Lombardi May 6-22. In a few days, we will post all the submissions, but for now, check out the images of the jury selections.

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KXAN report on Death Penalty Art Show

Death Penalty Art Exhibit
May 10, 2006, 07:19 PM

Link to video of KXAN story. Look for little red camera picture to start video.

Just last week, five arson experts told Texas officials they may have executed an innocent man in 2004.

The experts said faulty science was used to convict Todd Willingham of arson charges in a fire that killed his children.

Jim Swift reports the case provides some urgency to a new art exhibit about the death penalty at a downtown gallery.

(The following is a transcript of Swift's story.)

The art show was conceived by the Texas Moratorium Network, an organization that wants a halt to death penalties in Texas while potential injustices are addressed.

Texas Moratorium Network President Scott Cobb says: "Can you imagine sitting there on the gurney, knowing that you had woken up in the midst of a fire and your kids had died and you had, you know, managed to save yourself. And there you are being executed by the State of Texas."

But just about the time you start to feel sorry for these people, you walk around the corner and find another piece, which includes, among other things, page after page which lays out in excruciating detail the crimes these people are convicted of having committed.

Cobb says: "We put out a call for representation from all sides of the death penalty issue."

But as it turned out, all but one of the 700-plus submissions from 19 different countries reflected an anti-capital punishment stance.

Show Juror Annette Carlozzi says: "If you don't examine how you feel about it, what you think about it, and if you don't find a forum to express that in, nobody loses but you, ultimately, you know. Because other people will make those statements for you."

For that very reason, Carlozzi encourages people to attend it.

Carlozzi says: "When you leave, you get to ask yourself the question that we avoid asking ourselves most of the day, which is, 'What do I really think about this?'"

Meanwhile, show organizers say there is still time for pro-capital punishment artists to submit work.

After all, they favor a moratorium, and they know they will never get one unless everyone starts talking.

Carlozzi will give a gallery talk about the death penalty art Thursday at 7 p.m. at Gallery Lombardi at 901 West Third Street.

The exhibit itself runs through May 22.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Death Penalty Art Show Awards Announcement


The opening night reception for the death penalty art show was an exciting night. Many of the artists were present, some traveling from other states, including Melinda Wing from Arizona and Rita Fuchsberg from Vermont.

The following awards were announced:

"Best in Show" ($500) went to Isabelle Heitzmann of Paris, France for "Lethal Injection (Barbie Jail Fun series)", mixed media, 28x30x61 cm. Artist's Audio Statement.

Second place ($250) went to Annie Feldmeier Adams of Chicago for "Last Supper Trading Cards", cardstock and ink, 3.25" x 4.25", set of 52 cards. Artist's Audio Statement.

Third place ($175) was Jason Archer of Austin for "War Tribunal", Giclee Print, 24 x 16 in. Artist's Audio Statement.

Two merit awards of $50 each went to Mark Jenkinson of New York City for "Ricky Langley", Digital C print, 30 X 40 inches. Artist's Audio Statement.

and Thomas Buchner of Germany for his series "World Wide Patent Fig. 1, 2, 3"; Adhesive tape on printed drawing, 29,8 cm x 21 cm. Artist's audio statement.

The jury also gave an award for "Best Work by an Artist on Death Row" ($175), which went to Robert Perez, who is on Texas' Death Row for his two pencil drawings, "Texas Executioner", 22x14 and "Yellow Rose for Friendship", 14x12 in.

The "Viewers Choice Award" ($100), which was selected by a vote of the opening night reception attendees, went to Ben Woitena of Houston for his work "Dead Man Walking" of painted steel, masonite, plexiglass, photo-montage & xerox copies, 39-38"H x 27"W x 3-1/4"D. Artist's Audio Statement: Artist's Audio Statement.

Sometime this week, we will have all the images online at www.deathpenaltyartshow.org.

The artshow runs through May 22 at Gallery Lombardi in Austin, 910 West Third Street. Hours are noon to 6 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.

On May 11 at 7 PM, there will be a gallery talk conducted by one of the jurors, Annette Carlozzi, curator of contemporary and American art at the Blanton Museum. The gallery talk will be held at Gallery Lombardi.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Death Penalty Art Show - Opening Night Reception May 6, 2006



Media Advisory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 2, 2006

Death Penalty Art Show
Opening Night Reception May 6, 2006
Gallery Talk on May 11
Exhibition May 6-22, 2006 in Austin, Texas
910 West 3rd Street, Google Map

Austin, Texas - Texas Moratorium Network is holding an international, all-media, juried art exhibition entitled "Justice for All?: Artists Reflect on the Death Penalty" in Austin at Gallery Lombardi from May 6-22, 2006. The purpose of the art show is to foster the creation of new artwork on the death penalty and to encourage and enhance civic engagement and dialogue about the death penalty.

The opening night reception is May 6 at 7 PM.

There will be a gallery talk on May 11 at 7 PM, conducted by Annette Carlozzi, Curator of American and Contemporary Art at the Jack S. Blanton Museum Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin.

Media representatives may arrange for a pre-show visit to the gallery on either May 4th or 5th by calling Scott Cobb at 512-689-1544.

Jurors for the art show were: Annette Carlozzi; Lora Reynolds, owner of Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin. Lora Reynolds Gallery presents contemporary art in all mediums by established and emerging, national and international artists; and Malaquias Montoya, an artist and professor of art at the University of California, Davis.

More than 300 artists submitted around 700 pieces of artwork for the jury to consider. There were submissions from 38 U.S. states and 19 countries. Artworks on display will include sculpture, paintings, video, photography, and installation art. There will be 54 works on display from 50 artists. The exhibition includes art from 13 artists currently on Texas death row, one person whose Texas death sentence was commuted to life in 1972, and one person whose death sentence was commuted to life by Governor Ryan of Illinois.

Using an innovative system provided by a company called Guide by Cell (www.guidebycell.com), visitors to the art show will be able to listen to audio recordings about individual artworks by calling a number on their cell phones and punching in a number corresponding to the artwork they are looking at. In most cases, the descriptions will be recorded by the artists themselves. Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to share their own thoughts on the art work by recording their own statements, which will be posted on the website at www.deathpenaltyartshow.org.

This art show is funded in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

List of artists whose work was selected by the jury to be exhibited at Gallery Lombardi, May 6-22, 2006.

Annie Feldmeier Adams Chicago IL USA

Jill Alo Austin TX USA

John Amador Polunsky Unit TX USA

Keith "BB" Amante Austin TX USA

Jason Archer Austin TX USA

William Berkley Polunsky Unit TX USA

David Blow Hickory Creek TX USA

Samuel Brown Minneapolis MN USA

Thomas Buchner Ampfing Germany

Anibal Canales, Jr Polunsky Unit TX USA

Russell Castillo, Jr Liberty Hill TX USA

Barbara Caveng Berlin Germany

Ebbesen Davis Austin TX USA

Reinaldo A. Dennes Polunsky Unit TX USA

Cristina Ferran-Jadick Houston TX USA

Rita Fuchsberg Poultney VT USA

Tania Guerrera Mount Vernon NY USA

Vincent Gutierrez Polunsky Unit USA

Isabelle Heitzmann Paris France

Linda Hesh Alexandria VA USA

Jasmin Hilmer Hamburg Germany

Renaldo Hudson Sumner IL USA

Mark Jenkinson New York, New York, USA

Michael W. Jewell Powledge Unit TX USA

Lou Jones Boston MA USA

Stan Kaplan Levittown NY USA

Jim Krantz Chicago IL USA

Robert Kunec Halle/Saale, Germany

Jenn Lindberg Austin TX USA

Ahren Lutz Portland OR USA

Kate MacDonald Vancouver BC Canada

Farley C. Matchett Polunsky Unit TX USA

Michelle Mayer Austin TX USA

Misty Morris Aiken SC USA

Khristian Oliver Polunsky Unit TX USA

Scott L. Panetti Polunsky Unit TX USA

Louis Castro Perez Polunsky Unit TX USA

Robert Perez Polunsky Unit TX USA

Bogdan Perzynski Austin TX USA

Shanon Playford Portland OR USA

Roger Preston Las Vegas NV USA

Arnold Prieto Polunsky Unit TX USA

Travis Runnels Polunsky Unit TX USA

Stephanie Saint Sanchez Houston TX USA

Shannon Stoney Houston TX USA

Carlos Trevino Polunsky Unit TX USA

Carlton A. Turner Polunsky Unit TX USA

Collin W Williams Montevallo AL USA

Melinda Wing Phoenix AZ USA

Ben Woitena Houston TX USA

Peter Wortel Haren The Netherlands

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