The City of Bloomington will host the exhibition Free to Wonder: The Indiana University Prison Arts Initiative Student Exhibition in City Hall’s Atrium Gallery from January 26 - February 17, 2023.
The exhibition will feature work by ten students from Putnamville Correctional Facility who took classes in visual arts techniques, creative writing, and bookmaking taught by former and current IU graduate instructors during the fall of 2022. An opening reception will take place from 5-7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 3, in the City Hall Atrium at 401 N Morton Street and will feature remarks by IUPAI facilitators and teachers.
The Indiana University Prison Arts Initiative (IUPAI) began in fall of 2022 as an outreach partnership run through the IU Arts & Humanities Council. Its main goal is to send IU instructors into prisons to teach college-level courses. The fall 2022 class was the first of what the Initiative anticipates will be many classes tailored to the education levels of the students, specifically designed for students with high school diplomas but not necessarily college experience.
“We are very pleased to support a program that offers access to education by talented instructors and to highlight the talent of students presenting the work,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “This exhibit underscores our shared and basic humanity, wherever we are in life, and it adds a layer to current conversations about community justice. We look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with IU’s initiatives and to creating more opportunities to use artwork to make visitors’ experience of City Hall more dynamic.”
“The IUPAI team is so thankful for the unbelievable support we've received from our campus and community partners! We could not have asked for a better first semester—our students, especially, were so welcoming of us, and each class they demonstrated their exceptional commitment to the demands of the course,” said Oliver Nell, IUPAI Program Coordinator. “Enjoy the exhibition!”
More information regarding the program is available at artsandhumanities.indiana.edu/cook-center/iupai
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