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Atrium Gallery to Host Annual Display of Inmate Artwork

The Atrium Gallery in the Department of Administration Building at One Capital Hill will host the annual show of artwork from Rhode Island Department of Corrections inmates. This is the tenth year the show has appeared at this location, and this year it will remain in place for two months, from April 1st – May 30th. The gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Marietta Cleasby, an art instructor at the RIDOC for almost 20 years, is the curator of the exhibition and is responsible for choosing the 135 pieces to be displayed. All works are reviewed by the Department’s Special Investigations Unit prior to being included. The theme of this year’s show, selected by the inmate artists, is justice. The works deal with this topic on a personal, state or national, or global basis.

Ms. Cleasby was the RIDOC’s arts coordinator from 1989 through 1995 and when funding for that position was abolished, she continued on as a volunteer. She spends about 15 hours a week teaching in four facilities. There are 20 students in each class, all with a waiting list. “I see people change and grow through the realization that they have a talent,” she notes. Ms. Cleasby types up and shares comments on the show with the students, noting that it is very powerful for them to read some of the positive reflections about their work.

The Gallery is located on Smith Street next to the former Registry. The public is welcome, and there is no admission charge.

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