FREEDOM THROUGH ART COLLECTIVE
The Freedom Through Art Collective (FTA) is an organization comprised of incarcerated artists and free-world partners. The aim of the collective is to give incarcerated artists a chance to collaborate with each other, share their work with folks on the outside, and make space for conversation about individuality, art, and the criminal punishment system.
I became involved with FTA after gaining a pen pal through Black and Pink, a nation-wide organization whose mission is to abolish the criminal punishment system and to liberate LGBTQIA2S+ people/people living with HIV who are affected by that system, through advocacy, support, and organizing.
My pen pal, Jeff, is an incredible artist and poet who is queer, HIV positive, and incarcerated in Missouri. He creates incredible drawings and writes poems about love, LGBTQ issues, and his life. I have been pen pals with Jeff for over two years now, and have gotten so much out of our relationship. I have also learned a lot about the horrors that are faced by people who are incarcerated, especially queer folks.
Jeff's artwork is featured on the FTA website and has been shown in galleries in Massachusetts for FTA shows. Jeff has many general and medical needs that he needs to raise funds for. You can help Jeff by donating to Jeff by sending me funds via CashApp ($katelynnhuffman) or Venmo (@Kate-Huffman-2) with the note "Donation for Jeff Murphy."
Soon on my website you'll be able to purchase Jeff's original artwork and poems! The artwork and poems will come complete with a thank you note from Jeff.
Jeff wrote this intro about himself for a fundraiser I organized for him for my birthday in 2018. He is still trying to raise funds for art supplies, basic care, and his medical needs.
"My name is Jeff Murphy #176290 here in Licking, Missouri prison. I am a 56 bi-sexual male a member of Black & Pink I met two years ago. I've had family members pass away since I've been in prison of the last 21 years and not much any income like I used to have. I am always reading B&P newsletters that I enjoy writing to about solitary hardships, poetry, stories, and lifting L.G.B.T.Q. Family up in good spirits if I can. I also dedicate my drawings to Black & Pink for them to make cards for loved ones, or put a smile on someone's faces.
This is a fundraiser for my self to get a typewriter, art supplies, stamps, etc. to continue my work and devotion of passion I have for my B&P family in prison and in the free world because we all are a like and understand we are all belong and are equal beautiful people. I have had my right hand broke 3 times and my left hand recently protecting my gender and gay friends in prison. A typewriter would take a lot of pressure off my hands because I write & draw a lot.
I've had H.I.V. sence 2005 and what time I do have left is devoted & dedicated to my Black & Pink Family for a better world for us all.
Sincerely, with passion & love B&P,