The Santa Monica College (SMC) Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery will host the “Art + Transformation” exhibition January 14 through March 1. The exhibition — presented in conjunction with the Prison Arts Collective (PAC) — is part of a collaborative, multidisciplinary project involving students and faculty in the SMC Art Department and SMC Dance Department.

The exhibition features a free walkthrough and dance performance, and the project also includes weekly discussions, programs, and activities. Details about the walkthrough, dance performance, and other activities are listed under the exhibition name at smc.edu/Barrett.

The project culminates in The Broad Stage’s Heartbeat Opera Series production of Beethoven’s Fidelio. The 90-minute adaptation of Beethoven’s opera pitting corruption against courage, hate against hope features five singers, seven instrumentalists, and a recorded chorus of more than 100 incarcerated singers. Fidelio will be performed February 26 at 7:30 p.m. and February 27 at 4 p.m. Information and tickets for Fidelio are available at thebroadstage.org.

“This exhibition is an opportunity to engage the Santa Monica community at large in dialogue in and around the power of art to transform, the issues of mass incarceration in our society, social justice, healing, along with the ability to build and lean into community for growth and change,” said SMC Professor and Barrett Gallery Co-Director Emily Silver. Special art activities will be held in the gallery every Tuesday throughout the exhibition.

Barrett Gallery exhibition viewings are free and available by appointment only, which can be scheduled by sending email to SILVER_EMILY@smc.edu. Proof of vaccination is required upon arrival at the gallery, and masks are required at all times.

The “Art + Transformation” exhibition and related activities were made possible with the generous support of Freya and Mark Ivener. The Heartbeat Opera Series is sponsored by Laurie and Bill Benenson and Susan Stockel.

The Prison Arts Collective, headquartered at San Diego State University, considers art to be a human right and believes in “the capacity of art to cultivate community and positive change.” The organization works to establish partnerships between prisons and colleges and universities to expand access to the “transformative power of art to people experiencing incarceration.” PAC is a project of Arts in Corrections, part of an initiative of the California Arts Council and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

The SMC Pete & Susan Barrett Gallery is located at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard), Santa Monica. Entry is through the Performing Arts Center’s courtyard.

More information is available by visiting smc.edu/barrett or calling 310-434-3434.

Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC