Finding Voice, Power, Joy

  • James Sepesi (II)

pencil on paper, 2021.

Artist Statement

Here are sketches from my drawing book. I think they capture the humanity of the men that are in prison. The samples enclosed are of individuals who are changing their life through faith. I pray they can be of use. 

Artist Bio

I can say that I was at Woodstock. As a 4 year old toddler, I danced on my mother’s shoulders to the grooves of Jimi Hendrix and CCR. A few years later my mom met a free spirit from Wichita, Kansas and we abandoned upstate New York for “The Land of Ahs.”

At 12, my hippie parents supported my burgeoning talent with art classes at the Wichita Art Association. All through junior and high school each semester contained at least one art class. Some of my acrylic paintings got selected for a statewide secondary school show at the public library. In 1982, I received a small scholarship to Wichita State University.

I declared my major in graphic design. Circumstances being what they are now, I sure wish I had selected the fine arts track instead. In the Stiles Craft Shop, I steer my artistic development towards oil paints and graphite drawing. The pencil skills that I have acquired over the past 15 years serve well as a “legit” hustle.

Every so often I get commissioned to draw 15×20 (on illustration board) works from photographs. Aside from that, I like to sketch my friends, foes, and f-buddies housed with me on my pod. The sketching techniques I admire most are from the artists Ingre and Alphonse Mocha. My dream is to become a figurative artist and perhaps one day attend an Atelier like the Cage Academy. But, I’m not totally “old school” because I do appreciate abstract and non-representational art as well. We’ll see what the future holds, in 2029 when I first come up for parole. 

Other hobbies: reading, Buddhist practice, philosophy, and correspondence courses.

– Cited, with permission, from the Justice Arts Coalition.