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Exhibition: The Rose That Grew from Concrete

November 21, 2023 - December 9, 2023

The Rose That Grew from Concrete Exhibition Poster

The Rose That Grew from Concrete is an exhibition featuring artwork by incarcerated youth and will run from Nov. 21st through Dec. 8th in the New Gittins Gallery.

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared. - Tupac Shakur


Featuring art made by incarcerated youth, this exhibit explores the state of erasure and struggle. The Rose That Grew From Concrete is a contemplative collaboration devising ways for charting, envisioning, and making physically present the scale and impact of youth life under carceral conditions. Inspired by the poem by hip-hop artist and poet Tupac Shakur, the works included in this show feature both completed and works in progress: paintings and charcoal drawings skillfully crafted by 16 currently incarcerated youth artists in Salt Lake Valley Youth Center and Farmington Bay Youth Center.

Though incarcerated youth have been largely excluded from public discourse and major art institutions, art made in carceral facilities or prisons is paramount to contemporary culture. The Rose That Grew From Concrete seeks to influence current aesthetics and showcase (k)new ways to reframe conversations to understand better the impacts of the prison industrial complex that affect many individuals, families, and communities today.

The exhibition is curated by artists Mollie Hosmer-Dillard and Moana Palelei Iose, and the Utah Arts + Justice Lab in collaboration with the University of Utah’s Department of Art and Art History’s Gittins Gallery. Artist Mollie Hosmer-Dillard facilitates weekly STEM Community Alliance Program (STEMCAP) art classes at each center, working in the framework of student-led pedagogy. This approach is meant to amplify students’ existing understanding, knowledge, passions, and points of view. Students conceptualize, design, and create artwork with critical aesthetic feedback and support from Hosmer-Dillard.

Sponsors: U of U’s Art and Art History Department, School for Cultural and Social Transformation, STEM Community Alliance Program, Prison Education Project, and the Mellon Foundation.

Closing Reception Event

A Closing Reception will be on Dec. 5th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. Hosmer-Dillard and Iose will be activating the space with the Lost Eden Collective by hosting an in-person curators’ talk and opening with the incarcerated artists attending via Zoom. All works are available for purchase, with 100% of the proceeds and at-will donations to benefit the justice-impacted youth featured in this show. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP required.

Light food and drinks will be provided. RSVP to or

Parking information can be found by visiting the Gittins Gallery page or the Commuter Services website.


November 21, 2023
December 9, 2023
Event Categories:


Lost Eden
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Gittins Gallery, University of Utah, FMAB
Fine Arts, 1530 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States
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