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The original item was published from 3/15/2023 11:02:11 AM to 3/30/2023 4:14:01 PM.

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Posted on: March 15, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Opening Reception for "Behind Bars" prison photography exhibition, March 26 at City Hall


Opening Reception for the City of Malibu’s Next Public Art Exhibition in City Hall, “Behind Bars,” by Renowned Artist Pep Williams, Sunday, March 26

The City of Malibu Arts Commission invites all of Malibu to attend the opening reception for the City’s next public art exhibition in the Malibu City Gallery, “Behind Bars,” by renowned photographer Pep Williams on Sunday, March 26, 12:00 PM. "Behind Bars" is on display from March 27 to May 5, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the Malibu City Gallery at Malibu City Hall (23825 Stuart Ranch Road). The Gallery is open to the public, no tickets or RSVPs are required. 

“Ted Grant, a world-acclaimed Canadian photojournalist, observed that, ‘when you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!’ Pep Williams’ black and white photos unlock the souls of men of color who comprise a disproportionately large segment of the prison population in California and throughout our country,” said Mayor Bruce Silverstein. “I applaud the Malibu Arts Commission for their astute and courageous decision to exhibit Mr. Williams’ artistically, socially, and politically important work, and I hope that our residents will come out to meet Mr. Williams at the opening reception or, at least, have the opportunity to experience his work during its limited exhibition in Malibu.”

In 2017 photographer Pep Williams had the opportunity to photograph inmates at the Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, California. In his photographs, Williams portrays these men’s lives with dignity and humanity, even in a harsh setting and in the shadow of difficult pasts, and discovered a functioning social world and individual wisdom from the men he met in prison.

Williams is a fine art photographer, video director, and third-generation Venice Beach “DogTown” skateboarder from South Central Los Angeles. He has traveled globally to create materials for his photographic exhibitions, and has photographed spreads for magazines worldwide. The series, “Behind Bars,” is on permanent display at the Autry Museum of the American West.

At the Opening Reception, Williams will discuss his work. The event will also include live music by A Call 2Peace and works on display by local artists from the Malibu Arts Association. Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are not needed for this free event. 

For more details on the exhibition, visit the Malibu Arts Commission website. 

Watch an interview with Pep Williams discussing his “Behind Bars” photography exhibition.