Photos by G. Art by Damien Echols.
Damien Echols – Moving Forward, Looking Back
In 1994, Damien Echols was put on death row in connection to the murder of 3 kids in West Memphis, Arkansas. After serving 18 years on death row, forensic evidence came to light proving that Damien Echols and his two friends (known as “the West Memphis Three”), did not commit the crimes they were accused of and were subsequently released from prison. While Damien Echols served time on death row, he practiced meditation and eastern philosophy as a way to cope with his horrific situation. Sacred Gallery in New York is showing the art that Damien Echols made and hung in his cell while on death row in an exhibit aptly titled “Moving Forward, Looking Back.”
Damien Echols – Where There’s A Monster There’s A Miracle
Speaking at the opening night reception for this exhibit, Damien Echols said that for obvious reasons, he does not want this art in his life anymore, but since there are people that will enjoy it, it is very healthy to give it a new life and new home. The exhibit is extremely emotional when you consider the circumstances of how the art came to be it is even more impressive how nice and soft spoken Damien Echols is.
Damien Echols – Rainbow Buddha
Damien’s story is truly inspiring and when you consider that in a few short years, he went from spending his time isolated in a tiny cell to having people ask him for his autograph, it’s pretty incredible.
Damien Echols Assorted Small Works
Do not miss this exhibit! “Looking Back, Moving Forward” is showing at Sacred Gallery in New York (located at 424 Broadway at Canal Street in Soho). The exhibit runs through January 31, 2013.
After the jump you can see a photo of me with Damien Echols as well as a rock and roll god who also attended the opening night reception.
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Photo by G.
NYC! The first major art event of 2013 is going to be a biggie! On January 5, 2013 (from 8 – 11 PM), Sacred Gallery will be showing drawings, craft works and collages that Damien Echols made while being wrongly imprisoned on death row for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. Damien Echols is part of the West Memphis Three and if you don’t know his story, you need to! Even though he’s had a very rough life, Damien Echols has overcome time and time again through the practice of Japanese Buddhism and he is a huge inspiration.
The exhibit will run from January 5 – January 31, 2012, but the opening night reception is a ticketed event. A portion of the proceeds will go to Dharma Friends Prison Outreach which helps to support and promote those efforts that benefit the most forgotten and most disenfranchised in our world.
Tickets are only $10 and they will sell out quickly, so reserve your spot today! (Link will open in new window).
Sacred Gallery is located at 424 Broadway 2nd Floor (Between Canal and Howard) SoHo in New York.
Photos by G.
West Memphis Three (on left)
On October 10, 2011 as part of the New York Film Festival, the West Memphis Three (from left in top picture: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley) attended the premiere of “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” a documentary about their wrongful imprisonment for the murder of 3 boys in 1993. In 1993, Damien, Jason and Jessie were arrested, charged and convicted of killing 3 young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, even though they maintained their innocence in the crimes and concrete evidence proving their guilt was never produced. It was alleged that the trio killed the children as part of a satanic ritual. After multiple documentaries were made and after 18 years of prison sentences served, the West Memphis Three got their sentence overturned. During this time, new evidence came to light proving the West Memphis Trio did not commit these crimes. To avoid a lawsuit against the state of Arkansas, the trio was released only after pleading guilty to the crimes!
From left: Jason Baldwin, the filmmakers and Damien Echols.
The film was incredible and it’s really scary to see the holes our justice system being exposed! The West Memphis Trio was recently released from prison and as you can imagine, there was not a dry eye in the house when two of the 3 guys came out after the film to do a brief question and answer session. Jessie Misskelley was in attendance, but preferred not to get on stage. “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” will be airing on HBO soon, so definitely check out this film. It’s a tragic, yet fascinating story that will raise all kinds of questions in your mind after you see it.
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory