Drawing exercises by Nathan Riggs (top) and Leon Martinez (bottom)
Treacy Ziegler works with artists in prison like Nathan Riggs and Leon Martinez, sometimes presenting her curriculum to them by mail. “The act of drawing, even in prison, gives access to an experience of one’s world. Prisoners, like most people, typically think that drawing is ‘about’ something—a picture of something. But when drawing is the process in which the artist discovers the world, it becomes a dynamic experience.” Ziegler works at Prison Express, which is supported through the Center for Transformative Action, affiliated with Cornell University. A significant number of the prisoners Ziegler works with are in solitary confinement.