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Finding Hope Within Exhibit at the Fletcher Free Library

by Jillian Scannell

"Finding Hope Within" art exhibit at Rokeby Museum.
Jan. 1 - Feb. 28

The Finding Hope Within exhibit will be at Fletcher Free Library in Burlington from January 1, 2024 to February 28, 2024.

Finding Hope Within features art that has emerged through the carceral system in Vermont. The work featured in this exhibition includes drawings, mixed media, poetry and narrative writing by incarcerated artists at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington

In her book Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, Nicole Fleetwood writes, “Prison art is part of the long history of captive people envisioning freedom—creating art, imagining worlds, and finding ways to resist and survive.”

This exhibition posits art making as a transformative, healing, and cathartic practice and highlights the intensely human instinct to create as a way to transform one’s relationship to community, to the environment, and to the self. A spark of hope for the future emerges through the art of creation.

Viewing this art, abstract conceptualizations about prisons become tangible. Finding Hope Within challenges common narratives about incarcerated individuals and the practices of our carceral system at large and invites viewers to consider art as something that can transcend physical and psychological barriers.

Co-curators of the exhibition are Heather Newcomb of  Vermont Works for Women, Ashley Messier of Vermont Women’s Justice and Freedom Initiative, and A Revolutionary Press in collaboration with the artists and poets at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.


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