Birds Caged in Wax by Amber Epps and Oscar Brown

Title: Birds Caged in Wax
Medium: Mixed Media – Encaustic Paint on Wood Panel, Text on Paper, Feathers, Faux Flower
Size: 16.5w x 30h

Artist statement: This piece is a collaboration between Dr. Amber Epps and her brother, Oscar Brown, who has been incarcerated since 2006 at the age of 19. He is currently serving a life sentence at SCI Laurel Highlands and is awaiting a review of his commutation application. The text in the background is a piece that Oscar wrote entitled “Caged Birds”. The audio and a transcript can be found at

Artist bio: Oscar is my youngest brother. He has been incarcerated since 2006, at the age of 19. He and our mother are the strongest people I know. I am honored to be able to create art with him and share his work and his story with the world. Oscar Brown has been incarcerated since age 19 and was sentenced to LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE inside Pennsylvania’s mass incarceration machine. Once inside prison Oscar got involved with education and is the co-founder of the Elsinore- Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice and is a co-author of the book “Life Sentences: Writings from Inside an American Prison”. Oscar also obtained an Associate’s Degree from International Christian College and Seminary as well as a diploma as a drug and alcohol counselor from Stratford Career Institute. He also holds a PA State Certification as a Certified Peer Support Specialist and works with inmates providing support inside the prison. Nothing can ever change what happened that day in 2005 but every day Oscar strives to be a better person than the 19 year old he was when he lost his freedom. As of now Oscar seeks redemption through PA’s commutation process and hopes for a second chance one day.