The Artists & Collaborators
Emily Kissner
Emily Kissner Project "Criminal" Couture

Emily Kissner is a Chicago-based artist, activist, performer, and fashion designer. She holds a master's degree in art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. Her interest in combating mass incarceration through art was born out of her experience as an art therapy intern at an Illinois work release center. Faced with first-hand experiences of the injustices of mass incarceration, Emily realized it would take solutions more radical and creative than traditional art therapy to enact the changes we desperately need.

 

Fiercely committed to both engaging and humanizing incarcerated artists, Emily’s shows exhibit a powerful and provocative display that comes as close as humanly possible to bringing the incarcerated face to face with the viewer. She challenges her audience to think about the ways in which they, too, are incarcerated.

Corzell Cole Sr.
aka Zelly Bo
Corzell Cole Sr. Mug-Shot 2015

Corzell Cole has been incarcerated for a little over 14 years, of a 40 year sentance for a crime that he did not comit.  He has been an artist his whole life but since his incarceration he has become a self-taught barber, spoken-word-poet, rapper and patron of prison arts, buying hundreds of hand made peices to send out to family and friends. Through the “criminal” couture collaboration he has taken a role as a community leader, curator, and prison rights activist. Corzell is a father of three and is very close to his children. He dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and living a life outside of prison with his loved ones.

Charna Albert
Charna Albert

Charna Albert is a writer and prison abolitionist, with a degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago. She has volunteered with many grass-roots activist groups such as  The Sex Worker Outreach Project, Occupy Chicago and Black and Pink. She has been writing incarcerated individuals for over two years and helpping out with Project "Criminal" Couture sence its inception.

Donte Henderson
aka Generation Y Overcome Destruction
Donte Henderson aka G.O.D.

Artist, Orator and Activist, The Man with Many Names was Born in Cook County Hospital and raised in the streets of Chicago...

 

(Generation Y Overcome Destruction G.O.D.)

 

Donte was first to experiment with his creativity at 17 while in Cook County Jail facing up to 60 years for a fabricated drug conspiracy charge that was eventually called moot by the appellate court. While going through programs and institutions such as DCFS, mental health services, prison and consumer education, Donte, did not get a GED or high school diploma but was able to accumulate a plethora of books on every subject known to man and began teaching himself Law, Psychology, Social Science, World History and Philosophy. He articulates his abusive expereinces to fight oppressive forces through the art of spoken-word-poetry, and conscious hip-hop, accapella or acompanied by guitar or mandolin.

Charna Albert Transcrbing Artist Statements