“In the 1970’s, Governor Shapp pardoned 251 lifers. Only 3 lifers have been commuted since 1997.” – Associated Press
Mary DeWitt’s Pardon Me is a retrospective exhibition of over 20-years of portraits of woman sentenced to life without parole in Pennsylvania. DeWitt has returned to this portrait series throughout the years using various formats for her work: tile murals, large canvasses, reverse glass paintings, and most recently a video of her reverse glass portraits painting process with narrative and the women’s voices. DeWitt’s paintings are powerfully expressive images of incarcerated women who gaze directly at the viewer. She intends for us to consider the person first – apart from her circumstances – and to bring visibility to each woman’s life.
This project was sponsored by a 2009 Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant.