What would you have to give up if you were sent to prison? What would you do to pass the time? Instead of sneaking a spoon from the cafeteria to use as a shovel, would you use it as a base for a statue? Or even grind up some M&M's to make paint?
The prison art on display at the Hosmer gallery in July is mostly folk art and pieces that show the artist's humanity. Drawings on envelopes, statues made from toothpicks, soap sculptures, and even paper weavings all show that beauty can still grow within such a dark place.
The gallery is curated by Phyllis Kornfeld, with Janelle Aieta.
Kornfeld is the author of Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America (Princeton) and has been working with incarcerated people for 32 years. Folk Arts and Artifacts From America's Prison Culture
Hosmer Gallery at Forbes Library(This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.)