Kate DeCiccio is an artist, educator and cultural organizer. Her artwork focusing on using portraiture for counter narrative includes posters for The Womens March, March For Our Lives, and a series featuring over 50 parents who have lost their children to police terror. Her interest in imagining the role of artists to transform systems began over 15 years ago while painting collaborative murals and teaching art in state psychiatric hospitals and locked forensic settings in Massachusetts and DC.
In 2007 Kate relocated to the Bay Area and began both facilitating an art class for inmates coping with mental illness at San Quentin Prison and working as a residential mental health and substance abuse counselor. Her approach to portraiture and community collaboration are largely informed by her experiences witnessing the failures of the prison and public mental health systems.
As a white artist originally from Central Massachusetts, Kate is committed to engaging white audiences to take ownership of intergenerational and historic harm on behalf of collective healing and actively transcending the police, prisons and punishment as a theory of change. This summer will be her fourth year working with Performing Statistics, a project centering the art and personal narratives of youth in detention to dismantle the Virginia Juvenile Justice System.
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