Juvenile Corrections

Pictured above: Jaeshawn at 16, 2014, by Zora Murff and Colorado-9181, by Richard Ross


September 2 – October 8, 2016

The United States locks up more young people than any other country in the world – and a disproportionate number of detainees are African American, Latino, or youth of color. In this timely exhibition, photographers Richard Ross and Zora Murff take us behind the scenes of America’s juvenile justice system, exploring issues of social justice, treatment, placement, and the role of images in how we perceive incarcerated youth.

CPAC and the University of Colorado Denver Department of Communication are co-sponsoring a series of free, public events to compliment the exhibition, including:

Opening Reception with Zora Murff and Special Guests

Saturday, September 10, 5-8 pm at CPAC

As part of CPAC’s ongoing Developing Dialogues lecture series, artist Zora Murff will be joined by special guests Ariel Sena-Calvillo and Andi Savage, graduate students at CU Denver Dept. of Communication who will discuss their experiences teaching workshops to young detainees at Gilliam Youth Services Center in Denver.

Panel Discussion, “Ethics, Art, and Activism in the Age of Mass Incarceration”

Saturday, October 1, 7-9 pm on CU Campus

Featuring: Richard Ross, discussing his award-winning series Juvenile in Justice; Zora Murff, discussing his series Corrections; Mia Fischer, Assistant Professor at CU Denver who will discuss activism, new media, and ethics; and Alex Landau, Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, who will discuss activism for social justice.
Location: 1201 Larimer St., Denver, 80204. Academic Building 1, Room 1500


About the Exhibition

Juvenile Corrections includes images from Richard Ross’s widely-acclaimed series, Juvenile in Justice – a project that began in 2006 when Ross discovered kids as young as 10 were entering the system. Over the next six years, Ross dedicated himself to researching and documenting American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them. Along the way, he visited more than 250 institutions in 31 states and interviewed over 1,000 children. The project earned publicity on NPR, CNN, PBS, Harper’s, and other media, and has resulted in two books and traveling exhibitions. Copies of Ross’s book, Juvenile In Justice, with essays by NPR’s Ira Glass and Bart Lubow of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, will be available for sale at the opening reception.

In contrast, artist Zora Murff presents work from his series, Corrections, about the artist’s experience working as a Tracker for a juvenile detention center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As a Tracker, Murff provided services to youth who had been convicted of crimes, adjudicated, and were on probation, such as electronic monitoring, various therapies, and drug screening. “By reconsidering the role that I played in the lives of the kids I worked with, I began to acknowledge the burden that comes with tasking young men and women with continued complicity,” Murff said. “Corrections is an examination of youth experience in the system, the role images play in defining someone who is deemed a criminal, and how the concepts of privacy and control may affect their future.” Murff’s book, Corrections, will be for sale at the opening reception.

According to CPAC Executive Director Samantha Johnston, Juvenile Corrections is an opportunity for the arts to initiate dialogues about social justice issues that are on a lot of peoples’ minds. “Looking at the role we all play in the lives of our youth is critical, particularly considering the current climate surrounding police shootings and the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement. We’re especially grateful to UC Denver for co-sponsoring events that will enhance and deepen the conversation,” she said.

Read about Ross’s project Juvenile in Justice 


Read about Murff’s project Corrections



About Richard Ross

Richard Ross is a photographer, researcher and professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. Ross has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Annie E. Casey and MacArthur Foundations. Ross was awarded both Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships. Ross’s work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; National Building Museum, Washington D.C; Aperture Gallery, New York; ACME. Gallery, Los Angeles; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. He has photographed extensively for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, SF Examiner, Vogue, and many more. A dozen books of his work have been published including Girls in Justice 2015, Juvenile in Justice 2012. Ross is a Distinguished Professor of Art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has taught since 1977.


About Zora Murff

Zora Murff is an MFA student in Studio Art at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He studied Photography at the University of Iowa and holds a BS in Psychology from Iowa State University. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and featured in The British Journal of Photography, Wired, VICE Magazine, GOOD Magazine, and PDN’s Emerging Photographer Magazine. He was named a Joy of Giving Something Fellow through Imagining America in 2016, selected as a LensCulture 2015 Top 50 Emerging Talent, and was a 2014 Photolucida Critical Mass finalist. Zora published his first monograph, Corrections, through Aint-Bad Editions in 2015. Zora is a co-curator of Strange Fire Collective with Jess T. Dugan, Hamidah Glasgow, and Rafael Soldi.

Richard Ross & Zora Murff