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Art show by Alabama prison inmates wraps up


Today is the last day to see art made behind bars in Montgomery. The Alabama Department of Archives and History is showing “Changing the Course: Art by the Currently and Formerly Incarcerated.” Auburn University’s Prison Arts and Education Project teaches art classes at prisons and transitional homes throughout the state. The work of program participants is up in the exhibit. Georgia Ann Hudson is with the Alabama Archives. She says art-based instruction can address some of the challenges that cause former inmates to return to prison.

      “The Department of Pardons and Paroles has a lot of great statistics that show programs like Auburn’s Prison Arts & Education Project are really helping to reduce recidivism,” Hudson contended. “People who are getting out of the state’s prison systems are much less likely to return if they have been part of these programs. It helps build self-esteem and also helps them process a lot of the challenges they’ve been through in life.”

Hudson adds the exhibit is diverse and engaging.

“There’s a wide variety. There’s of course traditional drawing and painting. There’s also some really impressive sculptural work and woodworking. We even have some examples of creative writing as part of the exhibit. Those are really interesting, to see how people are using that outlet as well,” she observed.

Admission to the exhibit is free.

Libby Foster is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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