Prison Art: Art Behind Bars - RAW VISION

Prison Art: Art Behind Bars

First published:Summer 2004

In Angola, Louisiana, prisoners make things to sell at the Angola Prison Rodeo Arts and Crafts Fair each weekend in October and one weekend in April. On these weekends ten thousand people visit the prison grounds, shopping for everything from picnic tables and furniture to traditional ‘prison art’; cigarette package braided crafts, drawings, paintings and carvings. The only time to buy these prison works is during approved rodeos and special events open to the public.


Angola Prison covers many acres; it uses a traditional Southern work farm model and has often been depicted in movies. While some inmates are riding bulls and roping cattle, at the sale the inmates have tables to sell their goods. The ‘trustees’ can mingle with the public, while the medium security inmates must talk to their customers through the stockade fences that define their yard.

This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #47

Back to articles

Fancy a freebie?

Sign up for a digital subscription and get a free copy of Raw Vision's special 100th edition magazine.