The Levinson Tractenberg Group Collaborates To Bring Prison Art To The Public

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Art being exhibited include pieces by Anthony Papa and work attributed to Charles Manson

You can't imprison the human imagination.

With President Obama moving prison reform to the top of his agenda, the time is right to bring the issue to the forefront of the public’s consciousness. To further that goal, The Levinson Tractenberg Group, a NYC-based ad agency, is helping to bring a major exhibit of prisoner-produced artwork to the New York City area. The agency is handling marketing for the event, including poster design and an on-site visitor-engagement feature which will feed the exhibit’s social media streams.

The show, entitled “Escaping Time” Art from U.S. Prisons”, is expertly-curated by Anastasia Voron of Gallery 151 in Chelsea, featuring artwork sourced from the Safe Street Arts Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to using the arts as a rehabilitative and therapeutic tool for men and women in prison.

The artwork includes paintings, drawings and illustrations on media ranging from canvas to paper napkins to linen handkerchiefs. Since art supplies are not readily available in many prisons, the pigments used to create the art include such unusual sources as coffee grounds and fruit juice, and the brushes are frequently made from the prisoner’s own hair.

“The skill level and depth of emotional expression shown by these self-taught artists is impressive…and when you consider the fact that the artists were imprisoned physically and yet allowed their imaginations to roam so expansively, it is really touching,” says Joel Tractenberg, Partner at The Levinson Tractenberg Group, regarding the overall impact of the exhibit.

“I find it fitting that the exhibit is being staged on Governors Island, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. All people yearn for freedom, but perhaps none more than prisoners. Hopefully by developing artistic skills in prison, these prisoners are preparing themselves for more productive lives upon their release.” Says Joel Levinson, Partner at The Levinson Tractenberg Group.

Proceeds of the sales go to the artists themselves, as well as to support the work of the Safe Street Arts Foundation. Even the workers staffing the exhibit are formerly incarcerated individuals, finding employment under the auspices of Defy Ventures, another key partner responsible for bringing the exhibit to fruition.

The show will take place in a formerly abandoned house on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor through September 27. Sales of any remaining artwork will be made available on Paddle8, the online art auction website.

####The Levinson Tractenberg Grouo (LTG) is a full-service marketing agency based in New York City. Founded by leading creative executives from some of the finest big agencies in the country, LTG is committed to providing hands-on attention and strategic guidance to a carefully curated roster of established multi-national brands and promising startups alike. Contact: and contact(AT)

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Joel Tractenberg
The Levinson Tractenberg Group
since: 02/2015
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