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Artistic Talent of Prison Inmates on Display

Eleventh Annual Adult Correctional Institution Art Show Opens at State Gallery Space

“Art has helped me to see who I really am inside…” begins a statement from a former inmate at the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI) in Cranston. The artistic expressions of current inmates at the ACI are on display during the month of April and May at the Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill, a gallery space located across from the State House in the State’s Main Administration Building managed by the State Arts Council.

This is the eleventh annual exhibit of “Arts in Corrections”, a show featuring works of art, poetry and prose by adults incarcerated at the ACI. This year’s show features 135 works of art from 41 artists. Work from Maximum Security, Medium Security I & II and Minimum Security are on display.

The annual ACI Art Show has been extremely popular, judging from the comments left by visitors to the exhibit. The work is strong, often introspective, and the artistic expression of the inmates often moves those who see it.

Marietta Cleasby, a volunteer with the ACI Education Program, organizes the show. She says that the inmates work all year for this event, thinking and working on what they want to say to those who view their work. She says, “it takes a great deal of courage” to share these works. “Not only are [the inmates] telling you of their heroes, dreams and beliefs, but they are giving you their best work to be compared with all others.”

The Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill is a cooperative project between the State Arts Council and the State Department of Administration. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
  • Online:
  • Release date: 04-15-2009

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