“Innocent on Death Row / Free Rob Will” ↬ 13-23 August 2019
Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom × The Vanderbilt Republic invite you to experience Innocent on Death Row / Free Rob Will: a curated encounter with never-before-seen paintings and drawings by Robert Gene Will (wrongfully convicted, Texas 999402) alongside a program of live podcast recordings and criminal justice reform programming.
This suite of heart-shaking encounters happens 13-23 August 2019 at The Bellewether in The Blue Building (222 East 46th Street 10017), an 8,000ft2 project space in Midtown Manhattan dedicated to site-specific installation/performance immersions and photo/film production. Lava Media founder/CEO + Wrongful Conviction podcast host Jason Flom and Vanderbilt Republic creative director × executive producer George Del Barrio will lead a wide-reaching group of criminal justice reformers and media stalwarts.
This production is designed to raise funding and awareness to inspire the liberation of Robert Gene Will, who endures solitary confinement (23 hours per day in a 6’ x 10’ cell without access to internet or television) and awaits the death sentence. This self-taught painter, whose technique involves crushing colored pencils with his hands and then melting wax to make paint, was wrongfully convicted of shooting and killing a police officer in Harris County, Texas in 1999.
In October 2018, when a Texas federal judge denied relief to Mr. Will, District Court Judge Keith Ellison stated he “almost certainly would have granted” a new trial. Only amendments made to federal habeas corpus law in the 1990s prevented Judge Ellison from addressing “the troubling possibility of [Rob Will]’s actual innocence.” These injustices that confront the wrongfully convicted pre- and post-incarceration will be touched on during podcast interviews hosted by Jason Flom at The Bellewether’s Blue Gallery. With curation × lighting/technical design by George Del Barrio, a comprehensive exhibition of Mr. Will’s paintings and drawings will be available for view daily 11a-7p. All artworks are available for purchase, with proceeds supporting Rob Will'‘s defense fund.
Jason Flom shared, “Research shows us that approximately 10% of men and women on death row are innocent. Rob Will is one of them.” Mr. Flom continued, “Rob’s case is as troubling as he is extraordinary. Seeing him and learning about his work firsthand are what gave me the idea to host this exhibition.”
Internationally known philosopher, shaman, and exhibition opening keynote speaker Damien Echols stated, “What keeps innocent people in prison or on death row going, and prevents them from drowning in despair, is knowing that people out here in the land of the living still remember them and their plight, which is a powerful reason why events like this are so important.”
INNOCENT ON DEATH ROW / FREE ROB WILL!
Curation × Lighting/Technical Design
GEORGE DEL BARRIO
Communications & Strategy
THE BELLEWETHER at THE BLUE BUILDING
[ Open to the public 11a-7p daily from 13—23 August 2019 at 222 E 46 10017 NYC | Exhibition opening 13 August 6-9p with keynote & guided meditation by Damien Echols at 7.30p | Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom podcast recordings 14 & 21 August from 12.30-1.30p ]