• Nigel Poor. Photo: Earlonne Woods
  • Michael Nelson. Photo: Brooke Anderson


Nigel Poor and Michael Nelson on The San Quentin Project

This talk is expected to reach theater capacity. Please arrive by 6 PM to secure a seat; seats will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. Once the Osher Theater is full, join us in the Bakar Atrium immediately outside the theater to watch a simulcast of the talk.

A livestream will be available on the Berkeley Art + Design YouTube channel.

Artist Nigel Poor presents collaborative projects she has worked on inside San Quentin Prison, including the work currently on view at BAMPFA and the award-winning podcast Ear Hustle. Poor is joined by Michael Nelson, a former San Quentin State Prison resident whose essay about photography is included in The San Quentin Project.

In 2011, Poor’s interest in investigating the marks of existence that people leave behind led her to San Quentin, where she taught history of photography classes for the Prison University Project, an experience that changed the focus of her practice. Her award-winning work at San Quentin has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalism and with the A Blade of Grass Fellowship. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally, and is held in collections such as the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. She is a professor of photography at California State University, Sacramento.

Michael Nelson, who was incarcerated as an adult at age fifteen, works as a case manager for a housing program serving HIV-positive homeless people and is active in restorative justice in Alameda County departments of law enforcement; he also trains service dogs.

The exhibition gallery will be open prior to the program at 5 p.m. This program is presented as part of Arts + Design Mondays @ BAMPFA.