Our neighbor Gary Tyler was an innocent teen put on death row with an assigned execution date in 1976. He spent 41 1/2 years in Angola Prison before he was finally released in 2016. For Gary, free-life meant learning something new every day, things most adults take for granted: a job, a paycheck, a bank account, a cell phone, car and computer. For the past four years, in addition to serving as a guest speaker at many schools and churches, he has been working at the Safe Place for Youth helping to engage, build trust, and provide care and support to youth experiencing homelessness.
While in Angola, Gary learned to design and sew quilts. All of the quilts he created there were sold to raise money for Angola Prison Hospice, and were collected by Oprah Winfrey, George Soros, and the Smithsonian African American Museum of Art among others.
Since his release, Gary has not had the time, equipment or the space to quilt, but he is ready to begin again. Please consider making a contribution to a GoFundMe account set up to help Gary relaunch his life in the arts.
To learn more about how Gary came to be our neighbor, visit any of the following webpages.