On Saturday, October 1st, starting at 7:30pm, we are having a very special art show featuring works by a prisoner in Thailand. There will be complimentary refreshments and a short introduction about the exhibit by Heather Luna-Rose who is the organizer. Please read below to learn more about this fundraiser.
Hope in Dark Places: Prison Art for Survival
Felix Cheremnykh & Heather Luna-Rose
Felix Cheremnykh was born in the Ukraine 39 years ago. At the age of 30, Felix was imprisoned in Thailand’s infamous Bangkwang prison on a 100-year, later reduced to 40-year sentence, for robbing a bank at knifepoint. All food, water and supplies must be purchased by inmates in this overcrowded prison.
With no artistic training and no previous experience, Felix has been sketching and drawing inside Bangkwang these past nine years as a means to survive, both spiritually and economically. He draws in a crowded cell he shares with 15 other men — each inmate has sleeping/living space on the concrete floor of 18 inches by 6 feet. Felix hopes to use his artwork to gain his freedom. Felix draws on paper with ballpoint pens or pencils supplied by Heather.
Heather Luna-Rose is social justice activist and single mom who first started visiting inmates at Bangkwang prison, Thailand six years ago, after reading about the horrific conditions of this prison. Each winter, Heather visits the prison daily for several months at a time, before returning to Canada to work and raise money to go back the following year. When she visits a prisoner, she brings food, vitamins, antibiotic ointments – all vital in a place where rampant disease and lack of sanitation and medicine pose severe threat to the inmates. When in Canada, she writes letters to some of the most marginalized inmates, many too poor to contact their families, “so that they know they are not forgotten.”
Heather met Felix in 2009 and was inspired by his commitment his art and his perseverance in his hope of gaining his freedom, to return to see his mother in the Ukraine. In buying his work, you are helping to support his art and his survival. 100% of the price of Felix’s artwork will be deposited in his prison account at Bangkwang so that he can support himself to buy the basic necessities (water, food, toiletries, paper, pen, stamps).
Luna-Rose Prisoner Support is a registered non-profit society dedicated to bringing psycho-social support and basic necessities to some of the poorest foreign prisoners in Bangkwang prison. Luna-Rose Prisoner Support receives no funding and relies on your donation. For more information, please check out: http://thailandprisonersupport.org