My Name is Danny Purgason
I am one of the prisoner artists present in spirit before you today represented in this artwork. My art journey started as a way of staying connected with family during my incarceration that began November 1984 at the age of 18. By creating drawings in pencil, colored pencil, and ink pens I was able to offer gifs of love to my family and friends who never abandoned me to my imprisonment.
In making something for them with my own hands aI could honor them and give thanks for their being in my life. With little guidance I have struggled with learning how to draw in the confines of my prison cell. The road has been long and my work has traveled far from where I began.
In the year 2000 I got involved with the Arts-In-Correction program while I was in CSP-SAC New Folsom. Through the benefit of the Arts-In-Correction program, under the guidance of Jim Carlson, the artist/facilitator of the AIC program, I have grown not only as an artist but also as a human being. In this program I learned about art, poetry,music, expression, patience,forgivness and healing. The colored pencils and pastels opened up a place to nurture the seeds that jim's teaching, encouragement and lessons had sown in the fertile soil of my mind and were growing in the fields of my heart. I had begun to experience the world with a new vision. Jim taught me not only the elements and principles of art, but that I could apply the problem solving tools I had learned while working a piece of art into the other areas of my life.
It was through Jim Carlson that I met Rob Allbee of Inside Circle Foundation. I would encourage you to realize and to feel the truth that even human beings incarcerated in the prison system may offer something good to the world. We are not worthless people. I am not a worthless person. EVery fiber of my being cries out "I have something good inside me and I can give this good back into society." There is beauty inside me that I share with all people. A piece of who I am and who I have become as a result of my teachers Jim Carlson and Rob Allbee is presented to you in the viewer in this art work before you. Rob Allbee welcomed me into the awesome community of the Inside Circle group within the prison. From Rob and all the other circle brother's love, courage, vision, commitment, integrity and honesty the walls and bars and chains of my inner prison have crumbled. The gates of my heart opened and my spirit soars free.
Art has become a path of self-discovery. Represented here are some of the gifts of love I offer upon the altar of life. This artwork is imbued with my life, love and spirit. The memories of my ancestors; my grandmothers and my grandfathers; my father, my unborn children, their playful laughter echoing through the corridors of my soul..joy and sorrow blend into every stroke of color..thoughts..prayers. In the center of it all is stillness, where the poems and music of the should meet the dreams and songs of love. Where tomorrow and yesterday are embraced in the present moment of the now and you in the viewer. You are here to also woven into the tapestry...between the green and blue..upon the earth and beneath the sky which embraces us all. Thank you for taking your time to look and feel all the wonderful art that is presented on this site.
Also please explore how you may support the invaluable work of Inside Circle Foundation at www.insidecircle.org and please support the arts in your public schools. Be at peace.
I'm out with blessings-peace-love-hope.
Danny Purgason, United States Penitentiary 2006