Glow Home Art Show 2019

For the 3rd year running, Let’s Get Free teams up with Boom Concepts for a prison justice art fundraiser and series of events. 

Artists were asked to create work around the ideas of home and relationships to create a show that encapsulates the feeling of home: What does home look like? Feel like? A space? A state of mind? 

The call was to create things that literally glowed. People were encouraged to create work with ships and pun off concepts like relationSHIP, friendSHIP, leaderSHIP, etc.

Glow Home is an homage to friends old and new recently released from prison and a prayer that our loved ones still behind bars will be home soon. There will be an altar where you can leave something for a loved one who you wish to come home. 

Over 60 artists from both sides of the prison walls have submitted provocative pieces utilizing ceramics, photography, textiles, beadwork, silk screen, collage, stained glass, digital drawing, water colors etc. There are close to 100 pieces of art up for auction benefiting the work of this local prison advocacy group. The opening and auction will take place on October 4th from 6 – 10pm with the auction closing at 9pm. The show will stay up through October 26th.

Below you will find descriptions of the artists and art that will be displayed for sale and auction at Glow Home. This list will continue to be updated.

Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 11.02.28 AM

Elena House Hay submits this beautiful piece called Starship Enterprise. Elena is currently incarcerated at SCI Muncy. Elena writes, “My art is watercolor/ink/charcoal/colored pencil piece depicting a spaceship. Typically, when i hear the word ‘ship’ i think of the Starship ‘Enterprise’. Thus, my focus on a spaceship was inevitable.

“I completed most of the piece during a lockdown. I thought that is was fitting that I do a piece on the disconnectedness of prison on a day where I was unable to talk to my family. In the image, the red phone lays abandoned on the floor, it’s line to the outside floats, torn and useless, in space. The vantage point is significant in that it shows a prisoner’s position relative to the world.

We can see it through second hand accounts or through a fence but we are far away and removed from it in reality. We float around the world and try to make contact but it’s like our connection is faulty. It’s certainly not what we want it to be. Our relationships take place worlds apart.” – Elena House-Hay SCI- Muncy


People’s Paper Co-Op

We are so thrilled to be in collaboration with The People’s Paper Co-op (PPC). The PPC is a Philadelphia based ongoing initiative that connects formerly incarcerated individuals together with artists, civil rights lawyers, and many others to run a multitude of programs and initiatives. PPC generously submitted 3 screen prints from the Women in Reentry Internship The PPC work together to use art to create public advocacy projects to destroy stereotypes about women in reentry, and advocate for the rights and futures of women across the city.  SO INSPIRING!



Bee on Fire by Todd “Hyung Rae” Tarselli

Todd “Hyung-Rae” Tarselli”  long time friend and advisory board member was inspired by the challenge to paint something glowing and submitted three new leaf paintings, a lightening bug, a bee on fire and rabbit running in the night. There will also be limited edition digital prints of some of his illustrated portraits of freedom fighters for people who sign up as monthly sustainers.





Crossstich by Betty Heron

Betty Heron will turn 80 next April. We met her through Operation Break Bread, a program that connects people in Pittsburgh with people at SCI-Cambridge Springs the closest women’s prison.  Betty really went deep into the ship theme creating a cross stitch of a ship with the caption “ You can’t direct the wind but you can adjust the sails.”




Local artist, Nikita Zook assembled a collage of old magazines called “Nothing is Required of You.” Nikita  visually communicates the lyrics of the song “Family” by Blood Orange ft. Janet Mock. These words were in mind when  this colorful abstract piece was created:

“You asked me what family is And I think of family as community I think of the spaces where you don’t have to shrink yourself Where you don’t have to pretend or to perform You can fully show up and be vulnerable And in silence, completely empty and That’s completely enough To show up, as you are, without judgment, without ridicule Without fear or violence, or policing, or containment And you can be there and you’re filled all the way up We get to choose our families We are not limited by biology We get to make ourselves And we get to make our family.”

Shrinky Dink of St. Castilda by Ellen Melchiondo


Ellen Melchiondo, tireless advocate for women in prison, created a glowing piece that has many tiny origami butterflies woven with lights in a small wooden cage -“Trapped in Flight”.  Ellen also submitted a tiny portrait of St. Casilda de la Toledo. It’s a shrinky dink! According to her legend, St. Casilda, a daughter of Muslim King, a showed great compassion for Christian prisoners by frequently sneaking bread into the prison, hidden in her clothes, to feed them.





Caldwell Linker beaded a (very incomplete) list of names of LGBTQIA prisoners currently seeking pen pals.  Caldwell encoded the names given (not dead names) and then developed a color code in beads for the alphabet which is what was used to represent each name.  The names are disguised, but they are there and spelled out. IMG_2486

Caldwell writes, ” For the size of the piece I chose an arbitrary size and just beaded until I reached the end of the space that was given as a way to symbolize the arbitrary nature of sentencing.  The colors that I used were ones I initially chose for a piece I made for a queer trans friend after they had been gay bashed.  It was made to encourage and commemorate their defiance and not the incident.  I wanted the colors to be flamboyant  and full of life, shine and in your face brightness.   I wanted colors that were ostentatiously joyful and vibrant.  In a way I wanted to use the colors of a queer flag, but not any of the flags I’ve seen.  A flag that represents a gender/sexuality/experience/proclivity spectrum that needs at least29 colors and almost unlimited patterns to be complete and representational.  I also intentionally used beads of varying levels of opacity and sheen.  That palette seemed perfectly suited for this piece.”

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 11.53.21 PM
Alisha Wormsley created a 4 part collage series called, “George/Georgia is too curios” that will be up for auction.  The collages were inspired by letters from people in prison combined with the ubiquitous american children’s book, curios george. They leave one questioning the indoctrination that we may have forgotten is an everyday part of childhood in america.

Searching for Brood 8 by Sue Abramson, Double Exposure pinhole silver print on archival paper.
Pittsburgh’s famous nature photographer Sue Abramson offers 3 photos documenting locusts including this double exposure pin hole silver print called “Searching for Brood 8”. Her son, Alex Abramson, contributed a photograph as well – fireflies in a graveyard!
Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 11.57.50 PM
Devon Cohen, co-founder of LGF is creating a series of novenas that will assist us in glowing home complete with special papercuts much like the light house they created for our flyer.There will be 8 candles of each design available.

Let’s Get Free extends our loudest shouts of gratitude to all of the artists who crafted and donated art and everyone who bid and bought and the many volunteers who worked the show and BOOM Concepts and JustSeeds who always donates generous amounts of art!!