When Francisco Hernandez, of Oregon State Penitentiary was first invited to participate in the “OREGON PRISON ART” Show at the Coos Art Museum he wrote back thanking us “for the opportunity to…show people out there that we are human beings and are not like some of the stereotypes would portray us as all evil and lost souls.”….adding “sometimes all we need is for someone to give us a chance.”
This soulful nature is evident in all the people Hernandez creates with his masterly pastel work. “TIBETAN BOY”, which he created specifically for the traveling show in 2011, sold immediately, but traveled with the show, and was a favorite wherever it went. Students in the “Inside/Outside” class at Oregon State University in Corvallis , had an opportunity to meet Hernandez, and said he was every bit as kind and wise as his paintings would suggest.
Four of Hernandez’ beautiful originals are still available, and prints are available of all his works.
Photo of “Cisco” (Francisco Hernandez) at O.S.P. He and another inmate worked on this mural celebrating Hispanic Culture. Although racial strife is an ever-present fact of life in Oregon prisons (and most U.S prisons) the “TIME” Statewide Traveling Show of Oregon Prison Art featured works by blacks, whites, asians, Native Americans, and hispanics.