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'Bars to Walls' grants public view of prison art

by UofL Today last modified Aug 16, 2011 08:56 AM

The Hite Galleries are opening a new exhibit this month.

'Bars to Walls' grants public view of prison art

"Bar Code (Self-portrait)", by Hal Cobb, acrylic on board, 2011.

Bars to Walls: Inmate Art Expressions
Hite Art Galleries, Schneider Hall, Belknap Campus

Opening reception: Aug. 25, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Regular Gallery Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sundays.
Concluding symposium: Sept. 25, 2 p.m.-4 p.m., Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library
Closing reception: Sept. 25, 4:15 p.m., Hite galleries
Admission to everything is free and open to the public

The public will get a rare glimpse of about 100 pieces of art - drawings, paintings, sculptures and mixed media – created by Kentucky inmates at a new exhibit at the University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute.

The exhibit, “Bars to Walls: Inmate Art Expressions,” features work by 69 inmates at nine Kentucky correctional facilities.

“The exhibit will provide a unique opportunity for the inmates to showcase their work and receive positive feedback for talents they possess that are otherwise hidden inside the prison walls,” said Kentucky Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson. 

John Begley, UofL gallery director, and student curator Katharine Salomon have worked closely with the Kentucky Department of Corrections put together the exhibit. Salomon, a probation and parole investigator, is combining her fine arts and justice administration studies by pursuing an interdisciplinary doctorate focused on art crime.

Salomon will lead a panel discussion on “Insiders on Outsider Art” at the closing symposium. Panelists will be Gary Prestigiacomo, deputy warden at Northpoint Training Center; Skylar Smith, Spalding University faculty member and former prison art teacher; and Judi Jennings, executive director of the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Also at the symposium, University of Kentucky law professor Roberta Harding will discuss “Prison Art: The Entire Picture.”

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