On the Outside: Prisoner Reentry & Reintegration

About the Cover Artist: Curtis Chase

"Troubled Man is that inconsequential by-product, birth within the inner cities laced with systemic inequality, racial disparity, oppression and despair."

Chase's Biography: "I was born and raised in the city of Detroit. As a product of my environment, I'll always remember the many (obsolete) homeless men, women, and children within my environment as the precious floral decorations in my memories that inspired a few of my pieces. As a child, I gravitated to art to escape an abusive home and a world full of angry, hateful people. I wasn't a very good artist, yet, my mother would always praise my efforts with a hugs and kisses, that meant more to me than all the candy in the penny candy store. After mother's divorce, we could only afford a house in low income areas high in crime and violence. Poverty was a growing infestation, yet , there were always those precious golden threads, woven within the community, rich in kindness and sound advice. Today as a Christian Jehovah's Witness, I have allowed those seeds of thought to take root in heart when I share my art with others and the for-sure promises of God for a Paradise future."

Other Works by Curtis Chase

Cool Like Dat

Hello art and music lovers. This is a (must have collector's painting) that will give your spirits a dose of ambrosia every time you sit back and view it on your wall. This painting will compliment almost every decor in a house, and is sure to give your friends something to admire and talk about hours after they have gone home. It is a great gift for those dear to you. BB King, John Coltrane, Marvin Gay, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie were just a few of the 20th century pioneers who took the Jazz and Rhythm & Blues era to another level.

Please support your local artists and enjoy. Always remember, the bigger you go the better it looks.

Family Ties

As a black man, I'm saddened when I view the state of affairs of the black family here in the U.S. So I wanted to paint a family bonding through art. The first scene is a father helping his daughter paint a picture of her mother helping her little brother, paint a picture of that father helping the little sister, painting a picture of their mother helping her other baby brother paint another sibling.

Curiosity

Children have a wonderful inquisitive nature. And puppy- lovers like myself smile to see that same inquisitiveness in a puppy's bright eyes. Everything is an adventure, and so innocent and new. That captivating wonder in this little girl and her puppy is what I wanted to capture on canvas in both their stares.

Make Way For Royalty

A proclamation is ringing out to the other birds that this Royal Peacock has arrived.

Innocence Of War

I was inspired to create this piece because I have a soft spot in my heart for the innocent children in this cold world caught up in adult issues they know nothing about. I grew up in a violent, abusive home and environment; I had to escape within my own world for many years to maintain my sanity. Whether overseas in Iraq, or on the mean streets of Detroit, a child will compensate by escaping reality through imagination and fantasy. That's the beauty in all children. These are the forgotten ones, but only by some, not by God. This is a piece that carries a lot of meaning; and believe it or not, Hope. The war wreckage in the painting are memorials of the pass. The piece has a spiritual undertone. The yellow book under her hand is a book of Bible Stories I was read as a child. It was full of colorful pictures that ends with the fulfillment of God's promises to elevate war, sickness, and death.

Girls Jumping On Bed

When I created this fun painting, I wanted to capture the viewer's imagination in that blissful, care free time capsule, in a time when life was innocent, simple, and bright for a young child growing up. One of those precious memories forever etched in my mind are my two younger sisters playing in their bedroom , jumping up and down in their beds. Remembering their sunshine laughter and quirky ways is what motivated me to try to capture the essence of those memories on canvas. I hope their smiles becomes contagious and infect all of you viewing this in need of a smile.

Prayer Conquers All

My inspiration came from a scripture at Philippians 2:3 which says: "Do nothing out of contentiousness, or egotism, but with humility consider others superior to you." This individual is a representation of a fearless lone soldier at peace within himself even though his situation may appear dire. Being confined in an environment full of Alpha males, with superiority complexes. I've chosen to sit this individual right in the mist of the inflated ego's of the Rooks, Bishops and Knights, as a lone pawn, metaphorically naked and exposed to all their cutting stairs. As a shrewd, courageous, yet, humble Witness of JAH, prayer is essential and the primary to conquer any foe.

Portraits by Curtis Chase

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Troubled Man and Chase's other works were painted as part of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan