ReEntry Through the Arts

Kala Art Institute and Planting Justice are excited to collaborate to provide new artistic opportunities and art-making workshops for project participants from the Planting Justice community with support from the California Arts Council. There will be paid opportunities for Planting Justice members to participate in the visual arts workshops with lead teaching artists, Hiroyo Kaneko and Kate DeCiccio, and teaching artist assistant Malaya Tuyay. This series of creative workshops will be held at Planting Justice and will culminate in exhibition opportunities at Kala.

Workshop papers have been generously donated from our friends at Awagami Papers.

Developed in partnership with Planting Justice, free creative workshops will follow in the spirit of restorative justice work Planting Justice does so well – cultivating urban farms, operating training centers, and championing access to nutritious affordable food, dignified jobs, education, green space, safety and mobility. In response to a survey of needs, we’re piloting the arts and culture component for reentry, offering hands-on, creative and professional art making opportunities to complement the food justice training for formerly incarcerated individuals transitioning back into our communities.


Building on Kala’s experience with artist residencies in community settings, three teaching artists will work alongside Planting Justice for this new Reentry Through the Arts program. These artists will have up to a 10-month residency at Kala, workshop training through Planting Justice, and support to co-facilitate a series of narrative based photo workshops and art making workshops. In an ongoing effort to reduce barriers for participation and increase engagement, this is an important pilot program that encourages and supports the artistic expression of formerly incarcerated adults and will contribute to the public dialogue and appreciation for the diverse range of reentry experiences.


At the end of the project period there will be opportunities to present artwork created with Planting Justice participants throughout the Kala facilities, as well as opportunities to present public programs like film screenings and panel discussions at both partner sites, which will be free and of interest to the greater community affected by systems of mass incarceration. In talking with potential partners and those affected by incarceration, many talked of the need to change the system through sharing stories, dialogue, and through action.

Kala and  Planting Justice are coming together with different strengths, a range of resources that complement one another, and a common goal to provide new artistic opportunities for those who have been formerly incarcerated – building on the power of narrative and art to build resiliency, amplify voices, and transform experiences.

About the artists:

Kate DeCiccio is an Oakland based Artist, Educator & Cultural Organizer. Her work focuses on using portraiture for counter-narrative and articulating a just future centering prison abolition and collective liberation. The majority of Kate’s work exists in collaboration with community based projects including Performing Statistics, The Painted Desert Project, Lifelines Project, Survived and Punished, Critical Resistance, The Womens March, BLMDC, The Coalition for Concerned Mothers, March for Our Lives and 826 National. Since 2014 she’s worked with over 50 families who have lost loved ones to police terror painting portraits of their parents and siblings. When Kate isn’t making art she can be found nurturing her succulents, making salsa macha & adventuring with her nieces and nephew.


Hiroyo Kaneko is a photographer based in Oakland, CA. She was born in Aomori, Japan. When she was 18 years old, she started to borrow an old manual Pentax from her father. Since then, she has been exploring her visual expression in photography, focusing on dialogues between subjects she encounters and memories behind. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA in French Literature from Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo. Her work has been exhibited in the United States and Japan at spaces including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Camera Work, Nikon Gallery, and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. Hiroyo has taught at the University of California, Davis, and Rayko Photo Center, and is currently a lecturer in Photography at De Anza College.


Malaya Tuyay is from small town Carpinteria, but now works and lives in the Bay Area. She is still figuring out how to feel solid in the intersections of her queer mixed Pilipinx-American identity, and channels the legacies of print and textile mediums to open up about her relationship with mourning her mother. She wants to use her practice to offer affirmation to others within the community who haven’t been given space to talk about the pain they hold. By doing this, she aims to create work that remembers and celebrates people who have been lost in translation or forced to be forgotten; creating a tangible documentation of their existence and brilliance.