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Houston Matters

Windows On Death Row: Boiling Down the Death Penalty to a Single Frame

An exhibit at the University of Houston-Downtown showcases editorial cartoons about the death penalty and artwork by inmates, some of them on death row. “Windows on Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls” is on display through July 31.

Race and the Death Penalty
Michael Hagerty
An editorial cartoon about the death penalty from the Houston Chronicle’s Nick Anderson, which is part of the exhibit “Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls.”

How do you encapsulate an issue as complex and sensitive as capital punishment into an editorial cartoon or a painting?

A traveling exhibit looks to answer that question at the O’Kane Gallery at the University of Houston-Downtown through July 31, 2017.

"Windows on Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls" features more than 60 pieces of artwork on the subject of the death penalty from political cartoonists and prison inmates on death row. It includes work from Nick Anderson, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Houston Chronicle.

Michael Hagerty recently visited the exhibit to take a look at the artwork and to talk with Dr. Krista Gehring, an assistant criminal justice professor at the University of Houston-Downtown.

  • The exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls" features editorial cartoons about the death penalty and artwork by prisoners. The exhibit is a the University of Houston-Downtown through July 31, 2017. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    The exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls" features editorial cartoons about the death penalty and artwork by prisoners. The exhibit is a the University of Houston-Downtown through July 31, 2017. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • An editorial cartoon about the death penalty from David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    An editorial cartoon about the death penalty from David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Dr. Krista Gehring, a criminal justice professor at the University of Houston-Downtown, looks at artwork by Ndume Olatushani, who was wrongfully convicted and sent to death row. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Dr. Krista Gehring, a criminal justice professor at the University of Houston-Downtown, looks at artwork by Ndume Olatushani, who was wrongfully convicted and sent to death row. (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • An editorial cartoon about the death penalty from the Houston Chronicle's Nick Anderson, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    An editorial cartoon about the death penalty from the Houston Chronicle's Nick Anderson, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • An editorial cartoon about the death penalty from the Houston Chronicle's Nick Anderson, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    An editorial cartoon about the death penalty from the Houston Chronicle's Nick Anderson, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • An editorial cartoon about the death penalty from Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    An editorial cartoon about the death penalty from Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • A political cartoon by a prison inmate in Kansas named John E. Robinson. The piece is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    A political cartoon by a prison inmate in Kansas named John E. Robinson. The piece is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
  • Artwork by a California prison inmate named Kevin Cooper, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
    Artwork by a California prison inmate named Kevin Cooper, which is part of the exhibit "Windows on Death Row: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls." (Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty)
Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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