Emancipation Proclamation 2014.jpg

Marisa Aveling - Mr. Wash

This is by far the most special project I've ever worked on — a short documentary with my friend and co-director, Sean Mattison, about the amazing artist Fulton Leroy Washington, a.k.a. Mr. Wash.

In 1997 Wash was given a life sentence. 21 years later, he was freed by President Obama. In that time he taught himself how to paint, crafting thousands upon thousands of incredible images in prison. He helped bring inmates' families together on canvas when it wasn't possible in real life.

I met Wash while I was writing this story on Obama's clemency initiative for The Outline. He's easily one of the most charismatic and remarkable people I've ever met.

The short has been generously supported by WeTransfer. View the full site here.

And if you know how to get in touch with Obama, let me know. Wash really wants to thank him in person.

Photo by Sean Mattison

Photo by Sean Mattison