Valentino Dixon: Journey to Freedom
October 15 – December 4, 2020
Exhibition extended to Friday, January 29, 2021
Otterbein Alumnus, co-founder of Parable Coffee, and Board member for Healing Broken Circles Ben Willis ’14 will interview artist and exoneree Valentino Dixon and his daughter Valentina Dixon ’14 about the artist’s 27 years of wrongful incarceration, its impact on his daughter, and the role that art played in securing his freedom. This will be the first time that Valentina, a first grade teacher at Millenium Community School, will speak with the Otterbein community since her father was exonerated in 2018. James Prysock, Otterbein’s Director of the Office of Social Justice and Activism, will host the online interview and provide broader context for the event. Learn more about Dixon’s life, journey to freedom, and artwork here, and about his Advocacy work with Golf Digest Editorial Director and Vice President, Max Adlher, and Georgetown University professor Marc Howard through the Art of Justice Foundation here. See the documentary here.
Michelle Obama buys a Valentino Dixon original
for former President Barack Obama
About the Exhibition
The Journey to Freedom exhibition features twenty drawings by Valentino Dixon, an artist who was wrongfully incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. Dixon turned to drawing portraits of African Americans and black freedom fighters, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and Nelson Mandela, to cope with what would become 27 years of imprisonment. The artist began creating golf scenes when the Warden at Attica asked Dixon to draw the 12th hole of the Augusta National Golf Club. Dixon completed the drawing by looking at a picture clipped from a Golf Digest magazine. The Warden’s request catalyzed Dixon’s professional art career. His pictures brought his story to national news in 2012, when he was featured in Golf Digest’s “Golf Saved My Life” column by Max Adler. Despite the recognition, Dixon remained imprisoned for another six years, as many in the nation became aware of his wrongful imprisonment. Dixon’s fight for freedom was greatly aided by his daughter and Otterbein alumna, Valentina Dixon ’14, who lives and works Columbus, OH. Valentina helped to bring her father’s story to Otterbein’s student-published Harambee Magazine in 2013 and to other news sources. Valentino Dixon was exonerated on September 29, 2018 and stepped onto a golf course for the first time one month later. Today, Dixon travels the country as a motivational speaker and social justice activist. He hosts an online show called “Draw and Talk with Me,” was nominated for two Emy awards, and received a Gold Medal from the Vatican. This exhibition features work from four of Dixon’s most well-known series: freedom fighters, golf courses, wild animals, and bucolic landscapes.
Location and Hours
The Joanne Miller Stichweh Gallery
33 Collegeview Road
Westerville, OH 43081
Mon - Su 9a - 9p
Closed Holidays and Breaks
All exhibitions are free and open to the public.