“January 11, 1985” by Johnnie Trice in collaboration with Ariana Wescott

by Johnnie Trice in collaboration with Ariana Wescott

Two choices by one person affected many lives

Artist Statement

Humanize the Numbers was an opportunity to express to the public that I am more than the “perp walk” images from over 30 years ago. Those images represented me at my most impulsive, self-centered, irrational and diabolical. This presentation is a small, yet accurate glimpse into the person I am today. The central image, The Creator, is the declaration of my having evolved from known murderer to known artist. The three smaller pieces are a representation of my life before I committed the unfortunate crimes that led to my incarceration, the tragic act itself, and my path to understanding why I made those fatal choices. Lonely Pawn is symbolic of my being a black child forced to live in a white world, battling forces greater than myself. 1/11/85 is the date I thought murder was the solution to my life’s problems. Each of those bullets used on that date has cast a long, dark shadow upon so many lives. Art, along with the long and painful path of self-discovery and self-acceptance, has led me to a sense of peace about my past, present and future. I am at the dawn of a wonderful life. The remaining photos are about me in the here and now. I am a prisoner on the outside to everyone I cross paths with inside the prison’s walls, yet with my friends beyond the razor wire, they know the person. The art supplies are my reason to live. I am totally okay with doing things just a little differently. The final photo is me unguarded and enjoying the moment! The student had been recently ill, yet still made it to our workshop. I was having a little fun with her!