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The Richard Phillips Art Gallery

A Life of Survival Fueled by Art and an Infinite Capacity for Hope.
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Strumming and Humming

This lively and jubilant watercolor combines a jazzy folk theme with a modernistic touch

About Richard Phillips

 Richard Phillips “spent more years behind bars than any other wrongfully imprisoned person in America.” In 1972 he was convicted of first degree murder & conspiracy to commit first degree murder, a crime he did not commit which carried a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole…EVER.

 After serving 38 years, a man named Richard Polombo, also accused, admitted that he lied. He NEVER knew Phillips, NEVER met him, NEVER planned a murder with him. This was in 2010. However, Richard Phillips didn’t hear about this until The University of Michigan Innocence Clinic, headed by Dave Moran, got wind of the admission by Pol0mbo in 2014…four years after the admission.

 About His Art

 In 1990 Richard Phillips began to paint. He painted to stave off the loneliness. He painted to break up the monotony. He painted to fill the long days. He painted to keep his heart soft and hope alive. He had no intention of pleading to a lesser crime for less time. His convictions were strong and he never wavered; he was an innocent man. In fact, Richard told his attorney, “I’d rather die in prison, than admit to a murder I did NOT do.”

 The watercolors Richard created were symbols of hope and survival. Some of the paintings were dark and haunting while others were vibrant and full of light and life. He began painting custom greeting cards for fellow inmates to purchase. The proceeds from that small enterprise afforded him a little bit of cash to purchase art supplies. Over the course of nearly 30 years, Richard created a moving, thought-provoking, diverse body of art that he is getting ready to share with the public.

 If you’d like to support Richard by purchasing an original piece of art, through a patronage or other sponsor opportunity, please contact us here. You will be added to a preferred list that will receive updates and news regarding Richard Phillips and his watercolors.



“Richard Phillips is one of the warmest, kindest, most considerate people I know. There’s no bitterness, whatsoever.   He is ready to live life.  In fact, Richard is already speaking to church groups about his experiences.” – Gabi Silver

Art as Survival

Preview of Richard’s Art

Simulation of Moonlight

Richard Phillip’s landscapes show depth and extraordinary color with compelling richness and composition

Shackles of Freedom

This dramatic piece portrays both pain, powerlessness and capacity to care and feel love


Straight Back

This colorful birds-eye perspective of a pool player shows depth, richness color and texture

Exclusive Collection

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Original Watercolors and Limited Edition Prints Available. 

Original, signed watercolors, painted while serving a life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit, are available to the general public. In addition, limited edition, signed prints are being offered for select pieces.

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