Art Talk with Walter Anderson


On Saturday, August 19th, Underground Books held a powerful art exhibition featuring ex-felon Walter “Squeaky” Anderson. Mr. Anderson, who spent 35 years in the California prison system, is an Oak Park native who held his first art exhibition at the bookstore upon his release. “I come from a family where the girls were going to be treated special and strict. But us boys, it was like, ‘You’re on your own’ and I went on,” said Anderson, giving the large crowd that had gathered a glimpse into his childhood.

For two hours, Anderson discussed his art and the inspiration behind his “eye-popping paintings.” While paying his debt to society, Anderson said he received advice that changed his life, which connected him to explore art programs in prison, have his work showcased in Folsom State Prison’s art gallery and eventually become the inspiring artist he is today. 

“Mr. Anderson’s show has been one of the more talked about exhibitions that we have brought here in a while,” stated event host and Oakland artist Milton “510” Bowens. “He has a unique story, and as it is apparent, he has a wonderful gift,” Bowens added.

Mr. Anderson, whose paintings aren’t very costly considering the quality of his work, sold several of his art pieces during the exhibition. His art expresses life in the African American community. “I’m still improving, every day” Anderson said.

To purchase a painting or contact Mr. Anderson, please call Underground Books at (916) 737-3333.