Jim Carlson Biography

Jim Carlson




Jim Carlson, painter and printmaker, received his B.A. in Art from Bethel College, Minnesota; an M.A. from King Sejong University, Seoul, Korea; and worked at the Otis Art Institute for artist Joseph Mugnaini. Beginning in 1984, Carlson worked in art and mental health services for prisoners for the California Department of Corrections, as the head of the art programs for both San Quentin and California State Prison-Sacramento. He was also statewide manager for the Arts in Corrections for five years. After budget cuts eliminated programs by outside instructors, Carlson created a prisoner-led art program for the Sacramento inmate population, which he developed with his daughter, clinical professor of English Anna Plemons. He retired in 2018 and currently continues to work as an artist, and as recently as 2020 has helped facilitate exhibitions of works by incarcerated artists.