Spring 2013 Library Exhibit

Incarceration, Liberation, Imagination

Incarceration, Liberation, Imagination by local artist Saul Figueroa features colorful, detailed mixed media artwork. The exhibit tells a compelling story of gang violence, prison life, and ultimately a story of faith and second chances. Incarceration, Liberation, Imagination provides CSUSM students and community an unflinching and intimate look into one man's perseverance through poverty, crime, and imprisonment.

Opening & Hours

The exhibit opening is at noon, Tuesday, February 12th, on the Library Plaza outside our 3rd floor main entrance. Meet and greet artist Saul Figueroa, the "Picasso" of Oceanside, in conjunction with CSUSM's 2nd Annual Civility Showcase.

Incarceration, Liberation, Imagination will be on display February 12- May 10, 2013.

About the artist

Only three weeks out of prison, former street gang member Saul Figueroa was referred by Gangland Ministries of Oceanside as a recognized artist in the “Hood” to participate in a community Art Miles Mural Project. The theme of the mural was “stop the violence," to memorialize the killing of a local teen as a result of gang violence. Since then, Figueroa has dedicated himself to share his story of gang violence, prison life, faith, and second chances through his artwork and mentoring. Figueroa is married and is the father of five young sons.

Figueroa's mentoring of youth to build a stronger, safer, more inclusive community resonates with the ideas behind the CSUSM Civility Campaign. University students, faculty, staff, administration and the public are invited to view a compelling story of how art and community support became a life changing influence for Figueroa.  Twenty five sketches and paintings reflect Saul Figueroa’s life in prison, redemption, and a new way forward.

Saul’s statement: “My artwork shows my life in the ‘Hood,’ but also when confined to a jail cell spending long lonely hours away from my family and home. Through those seemingly endless hours, I found hope and faith through my family and the Lord. When a man finds himself alone behind bars, there is plenty of time to reflect on what is important and has meaning. And now by memorializing the events of my life through ‘INCARCERATION,’ my ‘LIBERATION’ unleashed the ‘IMAGINATION,’ I now have a new found determination to share what I have seen and done that otherwise might have killed me or maybe others."

The exhibition opening is at noon, Tuesday, February 12th at the CSUSM Kellogg Library. The exhibit will be on display through May 10, 2013.  An Art Miles Mural will be created on site by students and others who want to help another “stop the violence” mural. A staff member from Assemblyman Rocky Chavez’ office will be present during the opening to recognize Saul Figueroa’s great accomplishments.

For further information contact Melanie Chu at 760.750.4378 or mchu@csusm.edu


Incarceration, Liberation, Imagination supports the CSUSM Arts & Lectures event Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion featuring Father Boyle, Executive Director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.

For more information or for special accommodations, contact Outreach Librarian Melanie Chu at mchu@csusm.edu or 760.750.4378.


Contact Info