Open Access

Conversation & Screening

with Dee Hibbert-Jones, Michael Mendoza, and Gregory Sale

Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 7PM

Free for Montalvo members: Call 408-961-5849 or email Chris Wilcox to RSVP.

VENUE: Lucas Artists Program Commons

Service fees may apply and are non-refundable.
Montalvo donor discounts are offered on select events; donors, please Log In to access special ticket prices.
This event is presented as part of Montalvo Arts Center’s program series, Open Access—your opportunity to connect with Artists Fellows and Guest Artists at the Lucas Artists Program. This program is designed to offer audiences a behind the scenes view into how artists generate ideas, as well as showcase works in process and fully realized new work. Open Access offerings include conversations, performances, screenings, and culinary events. It also has a virtual presence as an online blog and archive. Find out more at

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Join Lucas Artist Fellow Gregory Sale and invited guests, policy advisor Michael Mendoza and visual artist Dee Hibbert-Jones, as they discuss their work with various groups of people involved in the U.S. criminal justice system. The conversation will also address the challenges of creating opportunities for critical dialogue and lasting social change. 

This will be followed by a screening of the Oscar-nominated animated documentary film Last Day of Freedom, co-directed by Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman. The film tells the story of Bill Babbitt and his decision to stand by his brother, a Veteran returning from war, as he faces criminal charges, racism, and ultimately the death penalty. 

Plus, as a teaser for Montalvo’s upcoming exhibition Now Hear This! An Exercise in Listening (opening July 21), flutist/composer/improviser Jane Rigler will introduce guests to the practice of Deep Listening and lead a short participatory activity exploring new ways of listening to the world around us. Also, Walter Kitundu will discuss a sound-based work he is developing on Montalvo's grounds.   


Dee Hibbert-Jones is an Academy Award-nominated, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and artist. She works collaboratively with Nomi Talisman on film, new media and fine art projects that examine power and politics: the regulation of behavior and the blinding cover of privilege. Her most recent animated documentary film Last Day of Freedom, co-directed with Talisman, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. Hibbert-Jones is a Guggenheim Fellow, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Fellow and Headlands Center for the Arts Alumni. She is an Associate Professor of Art a Digital Art New Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she founded and now co-directs the Social Practice Arts Research Center at UCSC, a social and environmental research center.

Michael Mendoza is a policy associate at #cut50,  a national bipartisan initiative to reduce the number of people in our prisons and jails while making our communities safer. Michael was sentenced to adult prison as a young person. At 15 he was told that he had no hope of changing and would spend the rest of his life in prison serving a life sentence. Through redemption, education, family support, and smart policy (SB 260), Michael demonstrated his transformation after 17 years and prove that we can safely reduce our prison population. Prior to joining #cut50, Michael worked at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice as a case manager. He worked with families and at-risk-youth on probation to provide wrap around services and help bridge gaps to their needs. As a member of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, he collaboratively works with a group of members who were also formerly incarcerated or impacted by the criminal justice system to build safe neighborhoods and policy that promotes equity.    

Gregory Sale is a multidisciplinary artist whose work brings together a multitude of individuals implicated in and working with the criminal justice system. His aim is to soften and collapse boundaries, thereby encouraging reciprocal dialogue and mutual learning. His long-term large-scale project, It’s not just black and white (2011) at Arizona State University Art Museum, consciously wrestled with the visual motifs of sheriff Joe Arpaio, while considering the cultural, social, and personal issues at stake in the day-to-day workings of the criminal justice system. He is currently producing Rap Sheet to Resume, a workshop and social practice project for the Urban Justice Center in New York City. Sale has been the recipient of numerous awards from such organizations as the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Creative Capital, and the Ford Foundation. He serves as Assistant Professor of Intermedia and Public Practice at Arizona State University.  


Our new theme for Open Access in 2017: filmmakers, performance artists, composers, visual artists, and writers will probe wide-ranging creative change-making strategies, and share art works that serve as platforms for critical reflection, advocacy, collaboration, public dialogue, democratic action, and the development of alternative social models and imaginaries.