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Art from the inside event


Nebraska State Prison Overcrowding is Theme of Artwork Released from Tecumseh State Correctional Institution

Overcrowding in NE state prisons is the focus of “Art from the Inside,” a collection of artworks created by people incarcerated at the Tecumseh State prison. Contributing artists Robert Heist II,

Jonathon C. Buckley, Michael McKenzie, Cory Russell, and Warren Wilson focused on their

firsthand experiences of the impact overcrowding causes. Heist’s beadwork and origami, for

example, includes a special “Memorial to Terry Berry,” in honor of Berry, 22, who was murdered

April 2017 while awaiting his imminent release from Tecumseh.

While Legislature has been informed that overcrowding is at 163%, that calculation was based

on factors that shifted the men’s headcount from men’s to women’s, or state to county facilities.

And solutions proposed for the overcrowding have addressed only bedding, without an increase

in the facility’s support systems. “If you consider all of the factors, the true overcrowding in the

men’s system would be 175%, making us the most overcrowded in the U. S. The first step

toward solving the problem is honestly measuring it.” Robert J. Heist II, in a letter to the Editor,

Lincoln Journal Star, August 4, 2019.

Wilson, one former cellmate of Berry’s, has concentrated on Zen Mandalas since Berry’s death.

McKenzie’s “Just Beyond the Fence” and Buckley’s "I Know Why the Caged Bird Crochets,"

address physical and psychological observations and longings. Russell’s background in tattoo

artistry is evident in his graphic works of skulls, animals, and text.

Opening reception is at G Dobos Studio, Suite #7, located on the second floor of the Mission Arts Building, 124 S 9th St., Lincoln, NE and is part of the September 6, First Friday Art Walk, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Proceeds from the sale of artwork will go to the People’s City Mission, Lincoln.


The work will be on view the month of September, by appointment. You


may contact the studio at or (402) 304-9295.