A painting depicting a man kneeling in a jail cell. Outside the cell, a large atrium is visible, with a tower in the center looking out upon other cells arranged in a cylinder around the tower.
Penitence by Steve Hibbler

Artist Statement

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

Bryan Stevenson

There are moments in our lives when we receive gifts, ones wrapped in colorful paper or circumstances. Those moments, no matter how small, provide space for the practice of gratitude and the celebration of relationships. So it is with a humble heart in which I am writing to convey why giving back is so important to me. I am particularly drawn to the South African concept of “Ubuntu” which means: Humanity with the emphasis on “We Are People Through People.” 

It is this principle that connects every human being across diverse lands in spite of any differences. Having the opportunity to show an act of kindness reflects the Inside Theory Group Members’ willingness to assert a small portion of our humanity with the children who were directly or indirectly affected by South African Apartheid. 

The artwork that is on display comes from our hearts and represent our acknowledgement of the importance of creative expression. So it is with this spirit in which I say, “We Are People Through People.”

–Steve Hibbler

Artist Bio

Steven Hibbler is a proud father of two and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He is also active in the Inside Out Michigan Theory Group and the Restorative Justice Program at Macomb Correctional Facility which he co-created and facilities. He is a published poet and an accomplished artist whose artwork has appeared in the October 2019 edition of the Harper’s Magazine as well as several art exhibits and installations. He is also a co-founder of Steve’s Closet, a nonprofit which provides clothing, hygiene products, and the basic necessities for children in need. Steve believes deeply that we are all interconnected as human beings and can change the world around us by doing one good deed at a time. 

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