Reimagining Reentry Fellowship

Supporting multidisciplinary artists impacted by the criminal justice system.


Creativity allows us to reimagine the world around us, and the criminal justice system is no exception—but the individuals directly impacted by our criminal justice system are best positioned to lead conversations and find solutions to the problem of overincarceration. Launched in 2017, the Reimagining Reentry Fellowship funds selected artists impacted by the justice system to examine the problems posed by mass incarceration on both a personal and a systemic level, illuminating the human cost and potential solutions.

The Fellowship includes practical, educational, career, and artistic skill development and opportunities for each artist. These opportunities are provided through Mural Arts and other partnering cultural organizations across the city. In addition, the fellow will design and create a mural focused on the impact of the justice system in their lives and their art practice.

Reimaging Reentry creates a basis for each artist to grow and expand their career, continuing to refine and develop their budding artistic practice. Mural Arts hopes to learn from the fellows how to continue and progress Restorative Justice work, as well. 

2023-2024 Fellowship 

Mural Arts has relaunched the Reimagining Reentry Fellowship with 2023-2024 Fellow Mark Loughney. Mark Loughney is a formerly-incarcerated painter, draftsman, and portraitist whose art acts as a national courier for criminal justice reform efforts. While in the fellowship, he continues to expand his project, Pyrrhic Defeat: A Visual Study of Mass Incarceration, to include portraits of supporters of criminal justice reform and the abolition of prison slavery.

Mark has also shown at MoMA PS1, Zimmerli Museum of Art, Brown University, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and other institutions in both solo and group exhibitions. His work has been featured in and on the cover of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Nicole R. Fleetwood and in the New York Times as part of Holland Cotter’s “Critic’s Pick,” in addition to other publications such as The New Yorker, Artforum, Hyperallergic, The Cut, and the Paris Review

Look out for Mark’s new mural design this Winter! In the meantime, follow his journey on Instagram@loughneyart.

Schedule to be a part of Mark’s continued series, Pyrrhic Defeat: A Visual Study of Mass Incarceration. Use the button below to sign up for a portrait sitting.

Photo above: Pyrrhic Defeat: A Visual Study of Mass Incarceration. Photo courtesy of MoMA PS1

Sign Up for A Portrait Sitting
In the News

See Mark Loughney in Action 

  • Marking Time exhibition, with Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood at National Underground Railroad Freedom Center 2022

  • Marking Time exhibition, with Dr. Lisa Biggs at Brown University 2022

  • Marking Time exhibition, Brown University 2022

  • With US Pardon Attorney Liz Oyer at DOJ Building, Washington DC during installation of Pyrrhic Defeat

  • Department Of Justice Office Building, Washington DC, permanent installation

  • Mark Loughney revealing his portrait to Mural Arts Senior Director of Communications and Brand Management, Chad Eric Smith.

2019 Fellows 

The second iteration of the Reimagining Reentry launched in April 2019, as a 20-month fellowship designed to support formerly incarcerated artists applying their creative practices to address critical issues of mass incarceration in Philadelphia. Both local and nationally-recognized, six artists/artist pairs created bold new public works to shift the narrative around contemporary criminal justice and incarceration.

The Fellowship enabled the artists to collaborate with Mural Arts’ long-running Guild re-entry program, as well as men incarcerated at SCI Phoenix, and women incarcerated at Riverside Correctional facility. Artist Jesse Krimes returned as curator, and worked directly with the Fellows.

In 2020, the Fellows’ completed projects were featured in an exhibition at the African American Museum of Philadelphia alongside work created by other formerly incarcerated guest artists from across the United States. The Fellows’ work also culminated in large-scale murals, performances, and installations with accompanying public programming across Philadelphia.

Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter
Reginald Dwayne Betts (with Titus Kaphar)
Russell Craig
Michelle C. Jones (with Deborah Willis)
Titus Kaphar (with Reginald Dwayne Betts)
Jared Owens
Michael OG Law Ta'Bon
Deborah Willis (with Michelle C. Jones)

2018 Fellows 

Artists Russell Craig and Jesse Krimes—both formerly incarcerated artists and alumni of the Mural Arts Guild program—led the inaugural multidisciplinary cohort in crafting projects that focus on supporting returning citizens rather than punishing them. Five Fellows gathered in Philadelphia in March 2018 for an orientation with leaders from the City’s MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge, and returned to present interactive work in front of the Municipal Services Building, also the site of a collaborative mural designed by Craig and Krimes. The Fellowship program culminated in a fall symposium that asked the public to help reimagine Philadelphia’s criminal justice system.

Reginald Dwayne Betts
Shontina Vernon
Sue Ellen Allen
Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter
Luis Suave Gonzalez
more events


The Art for Justice Fund, a recently launched initiative founded by Agnes Gund in collaboration with the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.


City of Philadelphia Managing Directors Office
Philadelphia Department of Prisons
Philadelphia Police Department
Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services
Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
Defenders Association of Philadelphia
The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia Municipal Court –Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole Department, Pretrial Services Division
MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge