ReEntry Through the Arts

Kala Art Institute and Planting Justice are excited to continue collaboration to provide community engagement 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 Kate DeCiccio, Hiroyo Kaneko and Malaya Tuyay. This series of creative workshops will be held at Planting Justice and will culminate in community celebration.

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. 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.


Teaching artists, Kate, Hiroyo and Malaya has been working with Planting Justice since 2020, and they co-facilitate a series of art making workshops to cultivate community identity and sense of belonging . Through their hands on workshops, they engage with the program participants and together they are creating a large scale mural installation to feature individual portraits of the Planting Justice nursery team.

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 about systems of mass incarceration and appreciation for the diverse range of reentry experiences. 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.


At the end of the project period there will be opportunities to celebrate the artwork created with Planting Justice participants.

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.

Project Supporters:

Thanks to California Arts Council for funding this project.



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