Beyond Bars Exhibition

Beyond Bars Exhibition
at the Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery
Manchester Community College
February 6 – March 5, 2014 

Manchester, CT- (February 10, 2014)… Manchester Community College presents Beyond Bars, a powerful exhibition featuring works from the CPA Prison Arts Program Permanent Collection.

The PRISON ARTS PROGRAM was initiated in 1978 as a collaboration between the Connecticut Department Corrections and Community Partners in Action (Formerly the CT Prison Association). Art is - and always has been – one of the most prevalent activities in any prison system. The Prison Arts Program takes advantage if this fact by encouraging artists to look beyond the traditional portraiture, tattoo patterns, copying or generic landscapes that are so common to the prison environment. Artists are asked to create work that only exists because they exist – artwork which is unique, emotive, thoughtful and thought provoking. The results are often extraordinary.

On the most basic level, the program operates under the belief that the arts are an integral tool in aiding inmates in using their sentenced time constructively. Artistic endeavors provoke inmates to develop their self-discipline, self-esteem, work ethic, interpersonal and communications skills and their ability to think critically while they examine their lives and the actions that lead to their incarceration. Exhibitions and publications are the culmination of the program’s work each year organizing and providing arts workshops and projects within the State’s prison system. As well, these exhibitions and publications provide the general public with a unique window into an important, but often unseen, part of the community.

Each year, the program – through purchase and donation – adds art works to a “Permanent Collection.” These works are chosen not only for their unique qualities, but also provide a wide view of all the artwork created in program workshops and in the State’s prisons in general. Artwork from this collection is framed, and becomes part of traveling exhibitions throughout the region and the country.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS IN ACTION is a nonprofit agency created in Hartford in 1875, dedicated to building a better community by providing services that promote accountability, dignity and restoration for people affected by the criminal justice system.

The exhibit will run in the Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery through March 5.  The Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Saturday, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. 

Admission to the Gallery is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Curator Susan Classen-Sullivan at 860-512-2693.

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The college offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. The main, park-like campus, which is easily accessible from I-84, is also the home of Great Path Academy, a middle college high school, serving grades 9-12. The college’s second location, the Manchester Community College Arts and Education Center, opened in downtown Manchester in 2012. MCC takes pride in the quality of programs and the many ways we’ve helped students, families, businesses and community grow over the past five decades. Fifty Years Together. For Learning. For Life. 

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News Item Posted On: February 10, 2014
For Additional Information Contact: Bonnie Willgoos at 860-512-2928