The recent politically charged exhibit Justice for All? at Gallery Lombardi was a juried exhibition. The jurors consisted of Annette Carlozzi, Lora Reynolds and Malaquias Montoya. As soon as I saw the announcement, I knew I would have to go see it since I am a big fan of Malaquias’ work.

The exhibit was an artistic reflection on the death penalty. The call to artists was very succesful and entries came in from all over the country as well as some international entries. On the evening of May 11th, Annette Carlozzi gave a walk-through tour of the exhibition.

I was impressed to find out that some of the work had been done by inmates in Texas. Some pieces were pretty raw in the technical sense, many of these artists had no formal training, but they had lived through this experience and their voice was very powerful. A couple of the pieces that really moved me the most dealt with a death row inmate’s last dinner request before execution. Some of the things they asked for were kind of funny, there was a guy that asked for 27 tacos. Many asked for ice cream, steak, french fries. I wondered what I would ask for as a last meal. There was a very dark and almost depressing tone to this exhibit. I certainly felt different when I left the gallery, I actually felt like crying.

After the tour, I had a chance to talk with Annette Carlozzi about the curatorial aspects of the exhibit. About her career path as a curator and her work at the Blanton. She was very encouraging about continuing my work as an emerging independent curator, and also reiterated the importance of art history in contemporary curatorial work. For more info on the death penalty in Texas, please visit the Texas Moratorium Network.