Artists incarcerated at Pelican Bay State Prison use their talents to raise money for Children’s Hospital


Hand-painted guitars were auctioned off, raising $11,150 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

CRESCENT CITY — Artists from the Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) Mural Team hand-painted six guitars for an eBay auction in March, raising $11,150 for the Children’s Research Hospital St.Jude. The project was part of a collaboration with Crescent City Bicoastal Media radio stations during their St. Jude radiothon themed “Country Against Cancer.” Continuing the theme, most of the guitars were adorned with country music-inspired artwork.

The project was not limited to guitars

All artists donated several hours of their time and used their own personal art supplies to complete this project. They expressed that the project allowed them to give back to the community and gave them purpose. As a result, everyone involved saw it as a win/win. Thanks to the success of this year’s project, the artists are already making plans for next year’s radiothon.

The artists share their thoughts on the guitar project

John Saese:

“When we were first presented with this incredible opportunity, I thought to myself, WOW! How lucky we are to be able to contribute to such a worthy cause. I never would have thought how satisfying it is to create images and scenes with beautiful colors. This newfound joy has given me an inner peace that makes me want to live a life of service for others. That’s why I’m grateful to be able to participate in helping the children of the Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Bunthoun Roeung:

“Having the opportunity to produce art for a sacred and important cause for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a precious gift that I have humbly accepted and cherished with deep gratitude and love. As I painted on the guitars, my mind and energy was focused on helping children and their families find some comfort, hope and safety.

Giang Nguyen:

“When CCII T. Hutzell and Institutional Captain D J. Berg chose me to participate in such a worthy and charitable cause as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, I felt honored and privileged . Being able to use my talent for the benefit of children is a highlight of my life. I sincerely hope this continues because not only does a program like this help such an amazing charity. It gives me and the other men in the program a purpose and a chance to give back as part of our healing process.

“Hopefully with the cooperation of the staff and men incarcerated at Pelican Bay, events like this will be frequent, so that we can show the changes that are happening at Pelican Bay and eventually begin to change the image. , special thanks to Director J. Robertson, AW Pepiot and staff for their leadership and support in achieving this goal.

Ferdinand Viera:

“I am forever grateful for this opportunity to do something for the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Thank you St. Jude for helping so many children. Thank you Mr. Hutzell, Warden Robertson, Captain Berg, my artist family, and KCRE and KPOD of Bi-Coastal Media for donating the guitars and helping us with the auction.

“I had no idea Pelican Bay would change my life for the better? I didn’t come here by choice, but today I consider it a blessing to be here. I am grateful to the administration in charge, starting with the correctional officers up to the highest echelons for their efforts to make this level 2 the best in the state. The opportunity given to me to participate in the Arts Beautification Program is incredibly rewarding as I am able to help produce art that I hope will inspire people. . When my fellow inmates and staff compliment my works, it gives me a sense of satisfaction. But more importantly, it makes me feel like I’m helping others in addition to myself.

Jeff Newvin:

“I’m 51 and 27 since serving a life sentence without parole. As a member of the Pelican Bay Mural Crew, I was honored to be asked to be part of the transformation of guitars into works of art. It’s a privilege to be involved in any cause for children, but St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has always held a special place in my heart. How could it not be If so, with little children battling cancer, fighting for their lives, they are an inspiration to us all.

“God bless St. Jude’s for taking the financial burden out of the equation, providing the health care these brave children desperately need to survive, and for allowing their parents to do what any good parent wants, just be there for their child and give them all the love and support they need. I would like to especially thank KCRE 94.3 FM and KPOD 97.9 FM for their generous donation of the six guitars and for their collaboration in the sales effort to bidding for this charity project.

Uriel González:

“Hello, my name is Uriel Gonzalez and I would like to thank everyone involved in building this business, granting this internal community the opportunity to step outside of these restrictive parameters, by being able to contribute some time, d “efforts and skills to those in need. My prayers are with every beloved soul of St. Jude and I hope that this drop in the bucket will benefit physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

Derron McLead:

“My name is Derron McLead and it has been a blessing to be invited to extend our artistic creation to such a noble and sincere cause. It is such a moving experience for me, knowing that guitars with works of art hand-painted will be donated to the St. Jude fundraiser.

Curtis Carroll:

“My name is Curtis ‘Wall Street’ Carroll and I’m a member of the Pelican Bay Mural team. We have partnered with local radio stations KCRE FM and KPOD FM who have donated guitars which we have painted and which were auctioned off to benefit St. Jude’s. It was an honor and a privilege to be part of a project that can provide resources for children. Children are the future, but they don’t always have the opportunity to achieve their dreams for reasons beyond their control. I hope these guitars bring smiles to the faces of children and their caregivers. It sweetens my heart to know that we have helped improve the lives of children.

Kevin Yocum:

“I am extremely grateful to all of the administrators and staff at the PBSP Tier 2 facility for striving to make it a positive programming facility where men can change for the better if they are willing to come out out of their comfort zone and participate. When I was faced with the prospect of having to be transferred to a Level 2 facility, I voluntarily chose to return to Pelican Bay. It was the best decision I could have made. I was invited to participate in the Arts and Beautification program which taught the basics of acrylic painting and it just changed my life for the better. I discovered a way to express myself through art.

“The most rewarding project we’ve done is painting guitars that will be auctioned off to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. This project has given us all a chance to be defined, if only for a brief moment, by something other than the worst moments of our lives.

Contact: CDCR Press Office: [email protected]

Artists incarcerated at Pelican Bay State Prison donated custom guitars to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s annual radiothon fundraiser.
Incarcerated artists hold the hand-painted guitars they contributed to an auction to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital.
Incarcerated artists at Pelican Bay State Prison display their hand-painted guitars.

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