Wrongly convicted, Raymond Towler now turns to music for solace; will play here Saturday


Raymond Towler of Elyria doesn’t paint anymore.

When he was serving 29 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he spent a lot of time painting. The very act of picking up a paintbrush is enough to trigger painful memories of his life behind bars.

“It’s funny because when I was in prison, I painted to get out, but now when I paint, it’s like going back,” Towler, now 60, said.

Since being exonerated in 2010, Towler has painted only a few works on commission or to give as gifts. These days, music is his primary artistic outlet. He’s released two R&B albums – “Freedom” and “Freedom II” – and plays in a band with other formerly incarcerated people.

Towler’s band will perform Saturday at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., during Towler’s first solo gallery exhibition from 6 to 9 p.m. One of the works on display is a hyper-realistic painting of a brass bell. Towler calls it the “Liberty Bell” because he was working on the piece while petitioning for his release.

Read more about him in Saturday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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