Spel was born in Philadelphia in 1967.  “Spel” is his graffiti tag from his days on the streets of Philadelphia, where he was also an accomplished break-dancer during the early days of hip-hop.  At the age of 18, Spel began creating one-of-a-kind works of art on clothing, which became valued as he became better known.

For the past 18 years, Spel has been serving a sentence at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford.  He is still able, in spite of the restrictions on materials and creative tools, to express the frustrations and fantasies of prison life through his art.

Spel’s work has been exhibited in many group shows and has been written about in Raw Vision Magazine, the World’s leading journal of Outsider Art.

Thanks for visiting and please sign the guestbook.

Exhibition History

1985 - Philadelphia Civic Center: Works by South Philadelphia High School Students
1994 - American Corrections Association (ACA), Laurel, Maryland 
1995 - Levy Gallery @ Moore College of Art: “Doing Time: Creative Reponses to Incarceration”
1995 - Philadelphia Civic Center, ACA International 
1995 - Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery @ Haverford College
1998 - Berman Museum of Art: “Art from Within” 
1999 - Multiple Choice Gallery @ Montgomery County Community College
1999 - 10th Annual “Arts for Peace & Justice,” Harrisburg, PA 
1999 - The Painted Bride: “Alienation” 
2001 - Fryberger Gallery @ Penn State University: “Art & Healing” 
2002 - Montgomery County Guild of Professional Artists: “Interior Motives: Promethean Responses from Prison”
2002 - Coatesville Cultural Society: “Hip-Hop Fest” 
2002 - Philadelphia Museum of Art: “Inside Out” 
2003 - Philadelphia Museum of Art: “Inside Out #2” 
2003 - The Village of Arts: “That, That I Remember” 
2003 - Thomas Eakins House (Mural Arts Program): “Journeys” 
2004 - Thomas Eakins House (Mural Arts Program): “Parallel Lives” 
2004 - Philadelphia Museum of Art: “Inside Out #3” 
2004 - Thomas Eakins House (Mural Arts Program): “Where Are They Now?”
2005 - Multiple Choice Gallery @ Montgomery County Community College: “The Prison Aesthetic: Art from Within”
2006 - Thomas Eakins House (Mural Arts Program) 
2006 - The Philadelphia Foundation (Painted Bride Show)
2006 - The Philadelphia Museum of Art: “Inside Out #4” 
2006 - Main Line Unitarian Church: “Filtered Reflections” (One Artist Show)
2007 - St. Asaph's Gallery:  "To Sew and Sow" (one artist show)
2008 - Mural Arts Program Inside and Out: “The Art of Restoration”
2008 - Art Around Gallery: “Perspectives from Within”
2009 - Mural Arts Program: “Outsider Art from Inside”




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