Looking Within

Updated: Nov 28

Works by Richard Horton, Jaime Plaisance, Desmond Singh, Enrique Cardona, Preston Bushard, William Smith, Martin Yazzie, Robert Brewster, Claude Kirk, Ralph Shephard, Zach Freeman, Robert Ybarra, Mario Perez, Jason Becktold, Daniel Polanco, Ronald McNair, Kevin Morrisey, Richard Baxter, David Kruse, Raul Campos

On view November 4 - 26, 2022

Dale Brock and Visiting Angels Gallery


Arts Fort Worth in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Medical Center, Fort Worth, present Looking Within, an exhibition of artwork created by incarcerated artists. All the works on exhibit were created during the pandemic lockdown when movement was limited to their units and human-to-human interaction at a minimum. Art became a means of seeking introspection and solace.

Arts Fort Worth would like to thank Warden Freddy Garrido, Officer Anolo Vaitai, and the artists for making this exhibition possible.



Richard Horton: Dream Catcher Red/Black, Cotton Purled Butterfly

Exhibition Statement

Art is the ability to perceive an idea (real or imagined) and create it. The creation can be in two dimensions or three dimensions. I work in oil, pencil, and charcoal. My favorite medium, however, is bead weaving. The type of art that I do is dependent on the media I am using. My paintings mostly reflect Western Landscape as it has a natural form to it. Along with painting I like to make Native Artifacts. If somebody likes my art I feel as I have given them some joy in the moment. The dream catcher is a religious object among some tribes. It catches good dreams and filters out the bad. I made this one using a willow branch for the loop which I then cover with rawhide. The butterfly is made using a white handkerchief that has the threads stripped from it. It represents flight of the imagination. The spirit.


Artist Bio

Horton is an American who is currently incarcerated at the Federal Medical Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. He had drawn cartoon characters when in Junior High and High School. He went on to serve 22 years in the military. After retirement he starts drawing as a means of relaxation. During incarceration art is a means of relaxation. From relaxation it became a habit to sit down and put something on paper.



Jaime Plaisance: JFK, Kobe Bryant

Exhibition Statement

I have learned that time is very important. Time wasted means nothing accomplished. For me, I take advantage of my time in many ways. Art is one of them. Art has been part of my life throughout the years. From crayons to paints to even building things. Arts and crafts have been part of me. I have mastered my talents many ways one of them is drawing portraits of people, their loved ones, historical icons, sportsmen to name a few. The more you practice the better one will be. When I draw portraits, I learn something about that person. Sometimes I can focus on an individual, feel the person come to life while applying that person on paper. As time goes on, I thrive to do the best I can and continue to learn better use of techniques from another artist. Continue to move forward and progress better in the artwork. Education is a very important part of one’s life. Take advantage of your time, be patient, and be the best you can be. Time is never wasted when art is being mastered.


Artist Bio

“Time is never wasted when art is being mastered.” Jamie is a Louisiana native who is currently incarcerated in a Federal Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. While incarcerated Jamie has picked up a talent that he never knew he had. He started drawing in 2016, never wasting time, but continuous to master his talents. He has attended and completed art classes in drawing and painting using acrylics and oil base paints. He spends a lot of time drawing using various media to include graphite’s, charcoals, pastels, color pencils just to name a few. Most portraits are drawn on Carson XL Bristol board and tag-board. He buys his media from Blick Art Materials. What motivates him to draw is current events and history. A lot of his ideas come from Celebrity Magazines or picture books. Most recent artwork are two portraits drawn of Kobe Bryant and JFK. Every day art challenges him to move towards bigger and better things.



Desmond Singh: Ziggy Stardust




















Enrique Cardona: Egg

Exhibition Statement

The purpose of the artists’ works is to challenge others to understand him, and his thoughts and the challenges expressed thru his drawings, things he cannot express to people, doctors and psychiatrists and or friends and family. His work is a way to cope as well as to motivate himself physically and mentally without stress, drugs, drama or sorrow and or depression. Being with his son’s and mother and his newfound faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a way to undo the lost first half of his life by living the second half of his life with his art and his love for life and family. When asked about his work, it is what the person see’s and relates to it, no more no less, any response is a great response, even criticism it shows interest in the work and trying to understand it. Its all an artist can hope for.


Artist Bio

Enrique Cardona is 55 years old whose medium is pencils and charcoals, he was born in Denver, Colorado then raised on the border of Texas and Mexico near the Eagle Pass Piedras Negras Coahuila area. He became interested in art at a young age when he was taken to go see the King Tut Exhibit in the late 70’s. He never studied art until 2020 but knew how to appreciate it and love it. He got his motivation from his professor at Austin Community College in Kyle TX. His professor wanted him to go abroad to study art and was willing to sponsor him to the university, but Mr. Cardona was in pretrial at the time and the Federal Government would not allow it. He is currently an inmate of the Federal Bureau of Prisons at Fort Worth, TX. He wishes to express thru his art to be understood and to show he matters and regrets his actions.



Preston Bushard: Girl with Incense

Exhibition Statement

The material I use are very basic color pencil and paper. I have found that with pencil one can achieve very high detail and yet also make it appear as an oil painting. Many times, people have told me that they are amazed that I only use color pencil, because it looks like an oil painting. I would like the world to understand that even though I just use something we are taught to use in childhood, fine art can be created with very simple materials, that and a little patience. All that I have done or contributed to the world of art has been since I have been in prison, and I am self-taught.


Artist Bio

My name is Preston Bushard. I was raised in a lower middle-income household, and throughout my teenage years and into young adulthood I was a highly competitive elite gymnast. For the most part the life of an elite gymnast is very structured and organized leaving no room for any real creativity. Occasionally there are moments when you fall into what has been called “The zone” and in this state you become a witness to your actions, instead of an active participant. Due to in part the intensity of the training and part due to the constant repetition of the routines, your body just knows what it needs to do. Everything falls in to place and perfection emerges. It almost seems as if your participation is not even required. Time causes to flow normally. It is a rarity, but when it does occur it seems as if God is emerging through you, and if you resist in any way the moment will collapse and will become lost. When my career ended the loss of access to those moments left a gaping hole in my life, which I tried to fill with so many different things to no avail. Throughout my search I have made some very poor decisions all to fill the hole, which led to my current situation in prison, although some decisions were poor in nature some have led to things that replicate the feeling of complete immersion that “The zone” gives you. Repeatedly the pursuit of truth, beauty and goodness, has helped me to realize this repeatedly. Adopting these as ideals in my life has been a challenge but learning to create art with the only available materials, I had access to (pencil, color pencil, and paper) has given me this experience again. Art has helped me feel complete since I was no longer able to be a gymnast. Due to this I can energize my motivation for life, which in turn makes me feel truly alive. Creating and expressing these moments through art has given me the gift of life after the loss of what defined my entirety, and I hope that when viewed my art will help someone else discover that same connection.




William Smith: Girl with Freckles

Exhibition Statement

As a resident of a Federal gated community, my choice of subjects is very limited. Generally, I search through books and magazines for faces or scenes that express joy and hope. I try to express, through my art, that every person is worthy of dignity. I hope that my art encourages equity and compassion. I believe that the two greatest existential threats facing humanity are the warming of our planet and the cooling of our relationships.


Artist Bio

Will Smith is an aspiring amateur artist who has studied under Nickolas Graham. He works primarily with watercolor, graphite, and oil pastels. Will currently resides in Fort Worth’s FMC gated community where he uses art to express his feelings of hope and redemption.



Martin Yazzie: Native with Smoke Horse, Native Dancers on Hanker chief

















Robert Brewster: Park Elf with Sword

Exhibition Statement

Robert prefers to create fantasy art but bring a realistic feel to it. He likes to envision things from different RPG scenarios, or individual characters to bring them out of his mind to share with others. He does this to remain focused on not becoming institutionalized in the penal system. It helps to alleviate migraine headaches as well, so he engages in some form of pencil art frequently. His shows his progress as an artist in things such as perspective. He creates art for the sake of creating, to bring into being, the genitive process. He is most often asked, “why do you do fantasy?” To show others what can be. His audience is anyone with an open mind.


Artist Bio Robert Brewster was born in 1971 in California but moved on in under a year with his military family. Robert has lived many places but has resided the longest in Colorado. He began drawing early, mostly stick figures on church bulletins, in 1975. Robert liked to read and was always ahead of others with reading. He enjoyed from age 6 on; Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells, J.R.R. Tolkien, Arthur Conan Doyle, C.S. Lewis, Ed Greenwood, Stephen King, William Shakespeare and many others as they all inspired his imagination. In 1977 Robert began to play Role Playing Games (RPG’s), theater of the mind, and was hooked from then on. RPGs influenced his art as much as his reading. Robert is well versed with many forms of media but prefers colored pencils. Robert is always experimenting and pushing himself with his pencils to achieve more life-like results.




Claude Kirk: Row of Houses

Exhibition Statement

For me, creating visual art began as a pastime and to fulfill a promise I made to myself to become proficient enough in one medium or another to eventually create something possibly viewable. Having become a musician, songwriter, and poet at a relatively young age, I was not uninitiated to the emotive power of art, but I did not know that visual art would soon open new pathways to explore in my lifelong search for self. As daunting as it is to be a novice artist, it is nevertheless a type of rebirth, a mid-life genesis of possibility that defies simple explanation. My green horn eyes cannot yet clearly see what is ahead, and though I intend for my work to become more personal and reflective of my journey, I want my art to be approachable enough for other to walk with me, or perhaps even inspire their own search. If I never find my “self,” then the journey never ends. Who could ask for more?


Artist Bio

Claude Kelley Kirk is a 55-year-old novice artist incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX. Kelley started his journey of self-discovery as an artist three years ago and is currently working with a variety of media in both single media and mixed-media pieces. Being a relative newcomer, Kelley is just starting to develop his own direction and style and is planning a future in mixed-media abstractionism. He is currently studying the works of a variety of abstract artists and doing his own studies in using colored pencils, which are not common in abstract art. The Arts Fort Worth project will be Kelley’s first showing.



Ralph Shephard: Ocean with Motor Bike

Exhibition Statement

I usually draw pretty girls, motorcycles, and the beach. It takes my mind out of prison and into places I love and miss. I guess that makes me a chauvinist, but I don’t mean anything by it. It just helps me keep my mind going and helps me pass the days. I consider myself more of a Doodles than an artist but somehow my doodles come out looking artistic. The guys around here always ask how long I’ve been drawing (a few years) and how much I would sell my drawings for. I mostly just draw for myself but it’s nice to know there is always somebody else that likes them.


Artist Bio

That old guy Ralph Shepherd says he was born in LA, California. In 57 and never gave art much thought until sometime in 2017 when he was put into a holding cell for nine hours with nothing but a golf pencil and an envelope. After nine hours he said, “That envelope looked pretty damn good.” He got himself a set of drawing pencils and decent paper and has been teaching his own self how to draw ever since. I think he kind a like it.



Zach Freeman: Astronaut and Chickens vs Snakes

Exhibition Statement

I put the line down first in pen, then I cross hatch until I understand the shapes I’m looking for. I draw things I’ve never seen because I’m here to add to the discussion about morality, hidden biases and wonky preconceived ideas about race and culture. My sensibilities come from 90’s Hip hop everything and growing up Samoan and Black. While I am here to add to the discussion, I mostly use my art to make one sided argument about my personal experience in America.


Artist Bio

Zach Freeman has a BA in Graphic Design from Southwest University of Visual Arts. He previously worked as a multi-media creative for 24 years.




Robert Ybarra: Female Fighter

Exhibition Statement

The intent and purpose of the art is to simply enjoy the drawing. Drawing keeps my mind out of prison, and it is something I really enjoy helping past the time. I have had only a few ask me how much I am selling the drawing for. I told them I don’t know just drawing for the fun of it. I have only ever drawn cartoons and some anime characters. I am not very good with anything else I get asked to draw. My audience would be people that enjoy art because they can appreciate the time and effort it took to make such drawings. I have had a few people ask how long you been drawing. I tell them it has been a while since I draw last.


Artist Bio

Robert Ybarra was born in Fresno, CA. He usually draws with graphite and colored pencils. Robert had not drawn in 10 years or so and recently picked it back up. He first became interested in art back in elementary school and continued afterwards through his schooling. Robert did get his Associates Degree in Liberal Arts of Science. He learned some art drawing from his stepfather.




Mario Perez: Single Feather Dreamcatcher

Exhibition Statement

The main purpose of this piece of art is to draw attention to The Native American way of life. But before I go any further, I must say, this art project was a group effort. Multiple natives were involved in making this project come to life. The question I am most often asked about this piece is “Where did the dream catcher come from?” To answer that question, I have included with my art a description of where and when the dream catcher originates. I hope you enjoy our artwork and thank you for allowing us to be a part of this gallery.


Artist Bio

Hello, my name is Mario Perez. I am a Hispanic male, 39 years old from Abilene, TX. I am a welder by trade, but I am currently studying to become a certified Dental Assistant. I am a self-taught artist. I have no art degrees or certifications. This is my first art project entered in to my first art contest.



Jason Becktold: Hands and Guitar and Girl with Wind Through Her Hair

Exhibition Statement

Art provides me an escape from the confines of prison. When I slip into “art mode,” my mind and spirit is transported to a place of peace and joy, where I’m free to explore and create a world on a blank piece of paper. I try to capture a moment in time and express either an emotion I’m feeling at the time or an emotion the subject of my piece is feeling. Although most of my work is in realism, as I’ve grown as an artist, I’ve began to explore impressionism. I’m happiest as an artist when I’m able to invoke a strong, positive response from the viewer. Creating art has helped improve my self-confidence and has given me hope in a place where hope is hard to come by.


Artist Bio

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, J. Scott Becktold became interested in art as soon as he was old enough to hold a comic book. Not born naturally gifted at drawing, however, he never pursued art until becoming incarcerated in 2014, when he learned how to use grids and other techniques, and a new world of possibilities reveled itself to him. Although he currently works mostly in charcoal, pastels, and graphite, he plans to learn to paint once released. He has completed several hundred portraits and other works of art while incarcerated and has won first place in several art competitions. Although he has his Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, he has no formal art training and has learned by trial and error.



Daniel Polanco: Melting Face with Snake

Exhibition Statement

My work encapsulates the interpretation of my ideology. I constantly try to actualize an idea or concept in which in my opinion, is an extended definition of art. Convict and felon, for example, are words often used by society to remind me and you that I may be viewed differently. Through my art, however, I am optimistic I will help eliminate the stigma and misleading narrative associated with such a title. I try to utilize and mash different concepts to generate art hoping and observer relates to my thoughts and perceived reality. I do not name my creations; the observer creates its title. I prefer the observer to make it their own with their interpretation of what they visualize.


Artist Bio

Daniel is an artist currently incarcerated in a Federal Facility in Fort Worth TX. He is a resident of the Rio Grande Valley but has seen the world through his enlistment in the United States military. He is a disabled veteran who uses art to express his view and, in a sense, his ideology while utilizing art as a coping mechanism. He is constantly inspired by the sense of empowerment her attributes are contained through creativity. He does not limit himself to a specific medium or style but believes color makes an observer feel art. He has participated in several art courses while attending college, but it has been his isolation that has given him the inspiration to create.



Ronald McNair: Pride Flag

Exhibition Statement

The purpose of the art I create is to express the lives of LGBTQ+ people and their community. I find pleasure to honor my community, our struggles, our triumphs. The bond that links our true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s lives.


Artist Bio

Amateur artist RAGHNALL originally hails from the east coast. Though, from his many years in the Armed Service he has lived and traveled to many places. His preferred artistic expression method is photography, however since incarceration he has explored other artistic avenues. As a gay man, his area of interest is documenting and expressing the lives of the LGBTQ+ community. He is self-taught and chooses his media based on the mood and atmosphere in which he tries to capture.




Kevin Morrisey: The Homestead

Exhibition Statement

Whether it is in written form, photography or as here in watercolor, I try to depict life allegorically. The scene I rendered does exist. Some background: In the late 1980s we purchased a largely abandoned acreage in a rural setting. The house had been closed in the early 60s and deemed uninhabitable. We worked hard and made it a great home. It gave us 30 years of love and life. When I was arrested it became a burden to my family as I was unable to help maintain it. Eventually the place was sold and razed to make room for a commercial development. I was happy to see the burden lifted from my family, but at the same time fact untethered, as that had always been my destination when I am released. It was this dichotomy of emotions that led to this piece. The image looks from the yard to where the house stood. There is a fence there, but it represents the fence I live behind. I showed one of the strands broken to represent the broken prison system in the U.S. While I have many relatives, I have three that I consider family. They are represented by the three birds flying, free to live on the other side of the fence. The starkness of the image reflects the conditions of prison life. The piece was done in watercolor pencil.


Artist Bio

Kevin Morrissey is from the Midwest, currently serving a sentence at the Federal Medical Center at Fort Worth, Texas. A lifelong student in visual, audio and the written arts. His photographs and writings have been published. His current outlet is with watercolor pencils. He is profoundly color-blind and uses the help of family and friends for color assistance. He is self-taught.



Richard Baxter: Mountain with Snow and Large Sky

Exhibition Statement

“Ascent” Oil pastel, colored pencil on cold-press sulfite paper liberation of concepts that defy linguistic form. Exploration of the old, the new. Redefine and refine oneself through visual expression.


Artist Bio

Richard J. Baxter, born November 19th, Olympia, Washington. Self-taught after re-engaging with art while incarcerated.













David Kruse: Willie Nelson

Exhibition Statement

Art, for me, goes back to my early years. Back then I drew characters of people I knew. Focusing on their humorous side. Having an artistic flare, or interest, goes with family members going back a couple of generation. However, no one pursued their talents on a professional level. There is nothing about my art that is unique in style, lots of people draw or paint portraits. I draw very iconic people and I bring them to life with my art. I always know the very moment I achieve this goal, often early on… it is in the eyes. Another artist… I almost always find something of interest about their creations. My idol, however, is Rembrandt and his “The Prodigal Son in the Tavern” with his beloved wife, Saskia on his lap. Painted nearly for hundred years ago, as an alive today as he and she was then… and happy. Would pursue other mediums of art? Of course, I’m a blank canvas. Art is a part of soul, personality and to display my art in a gallery is awesome.


Artist Bio

David Kruse is an elderly man that is retired and finally free to devote more time to his artistic interest. Early on he explored various styles and subjects using charcoal, graphite and colored pencils as the tools of his trade. Born and raised in West Texas, cowboys and Indians were an early interest. Even so, like a lot of artists, he wanted to focus on something more uniquely his own. This ends up with focusing on Iconic faces, bringing those chosen to life in his art. With no formal training, but with pure passion for art, he has offered two of his drawings. The first of these is called “Afghanistan Girl.” He relied on a photograph of a 1980’s Time Magazine cover. With her iconic face and stunning green eyes, she was perfect to begin his “iconic-face series.” All, except the girl’s pose, was changed, focusing only on her eyes to capture her unique look, only in black and white instead of color. Her garments have completely changed to better reflect her harsh life. The next drawing needs no introduction. It is of course “Willie Nelson,” relaxed, easy going, just being Willie.



Raul Campos: Zendaya

Exhibition Statement

The purpose of my work is to show the beauty of the Actress or Subject as best as I am able. I take pride in my art and pay attention to small details to be as accurate as possible. To challenge myself and get better, telling myself “I can draw that” and seeing how close I get to the picture, and what I need to do to get to perfection motivates me to keep going. I remember little box cars in the second grade. Then gradually making them 3-dish and drawing cartoons. I met a boy in 5th grade that became my best friend, and he liked drawing anime characters; he would create his own and I would compete with him by drawing my own transformers like it was a religion. I came to realize my potential in the 7th grade. I was drawing a 68 Camaro after a TAKs test and the teacher came over and was awed by my creation, she asked if I drew it out my mind and told me how hard that is. I was like huh? I do it all the time. When I entered my sophomore year, I was put into a beginner’s art class with Mr. Bruce, who saw my potential and motivated me to draw. (At this time, I was also teaching myself photo shop). He recommended me to Mrs. Jones sparked my creativity and taught me all that I know for two years. After high school my drawing dropped to almost nothing and I didn’t start back until I got in prison. In the last 3 years my skills have increased amazingly to where I now can make a living off my art. Honestly… the “Did you draw that?” question, but mostly “How long does it take you to draw this?” or “How long have you been an artist?” My audience is anyone and everyone that’s there to witness.


Artist Bio

Raul Campos Jr. is a mixed media artist who can doit all from pencil/colored pencil portraits to acrylic painting, and adobe photo shop. He was born in Dallas, TX., and became interested in art at a young age. He took 4 art classes in high school. When he is not immersed in his artistry, you can find him “deleting scrubs” on “league” and “smashing noobs” on “COD” or watching “End Game” for the 3,000th time.






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