Billy Van Court

(American | Norwegian | Cherokee, born 1948)

Billy Van Court (Cherokee) is a self-taught artist and an inmate with the Washington State Department of Corrections. He states, "I grew up in poverty and unfortunately found myself on the wrong side of the law during much of my life. Since the age of 13 years old, I have spent over twenty years behind bars. I have always had an appreciation for the arts, but did not tap into my own talents until I was 28 years old and back in prison. Someone had given me a set of oil paints so I thought I would see what I could paint… Soon I was hooked on the creative spirit and have now been painting for the past 15 years. I'm serving a life sentence in prison, and I find my artwork to be very therapeutic for me."