The Adirondack Center for Writing and Federal Correctional Institute Ray Brook are proud to present an exhibit of pieces created by incarcerated artists. This 25-piece exhibit features paintings and some pottery, all inspired by classic Adirondack landscapes and figures.
“ACW has always been dedicated to giving space for the voiceless and this new exhibit is an example of our most important kind of work,” said Nathalie Thill, Executive Director at Adirondack Center for Writing. “This is incredibly special as it is the first time art by incarcerated artists has been displayed outside of a correctional facility in the North Country. We are really honored to bring this exhibit to life. John Brown Farm is the perfect location with its abolitionist history and natural beauty, and we can’t wait to share it with the public.”
The theme “Adirondack Landscapes”, chosen by the artists themselves, is particularly poignant because although they live here in the region, none of the painters have actually seen the vistas that were the inspiration for their work. “The artists have heard how beautiful the Adirondack Mountains are, and they wanted to pay tribute to various landscapes and pioneers of the area that interested them,” shared Erik VanYserloo, who works in the Recreation Department at Federal Correctional Institute Ray Brook and acted as coordinator for this project.
“It was an absolute honor to work with ACW on this community project,” said Erik VanYserloo. “The inmates took much pride in being involved and displaying their skills to the community. What they came up with in the end was both amazing and inspirational to say the least. I look forward to seeing the people’s reaction to the exhibit and showing what these men can accomplish when inspired to give back in a positive way.”
The opening reception will be held on Saturday, July 3, 2021 from 12:00-4:00pm at John Brown’s Farm in Lake Placid, NY. The exhibit will remain in place for the months of July and August and is free and open to the public. Visitors are expected to follow all current safety guidelines.
The Adirondack Center for Writing has presented a creative writing program at FCI Ray Brook since 2002, which is the longest running arts in corrections program in the federal system in the country. The COVID-19 lockdowns in the federal prison system were particularly stressful for both the inmates and the staff. ACW Executive Director Nathalie Thill worked closely with FCI Ray Brook Education Staff Erik Van Yserloo to curate an exhibit of pieces created during lockdown, as a way to use art as a means of coping with the fears and stresses of the pandemic.
All pieces will be auctioned online and all proceeds will go to the Adirondack Center for Writing, in recognition of all their years of dedicated work for arts in corrections. The auction will go live on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at adirondackcenterforwriting.org and will close on Tuesday, August 31 2021.
Images from the exhibit provided by ACW