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Reception: “Behind the Wall: Art and Writing from Prison” (Story House Ithaca Traveling Exhibit)

May 31, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Join us along with Gary Fine, director of the Durland Alternatives Library and Prisoner Express, and Treacy Ziegler, exhibit curator, for this special reception and celebration of the last stop on this traveling exhibit’s tour.

“Behind the Wall” is a traveling exhibition of drawings, paintings, letters, stories, and poems created by people in prison. It provides a window into the lives and imaginations of incarcerated people in our communities and beyond.

Nearly 2 million Americans live in jails, prisons, and detention centers, all but invisible to the rest of the world. Many struggle with isolation, loneliness, and a lack of a sense of purpose. Creative self-expression helps them process their experiences, build their skills, and communicate their thoughts and feelings with others. Yet little of what they produce reaches people on the outside.

The artworks and writings in “Behind the Wall” have been collected by Prisoner Express, an Ithaca-based nonprofit that uses newsletters, book exchanges, and art and creative writing programs to foster hope and a sense of community among incarcerated people around the country. Prisoner Express currently serves more than 4,000 prisoners and has reached more than 37,000 over the last 20 years.

“Behind the Wall” is curated by Ithaca artist Treacy Ziegler. It is coordinated by Story House Ithaca in collaboration with the Finger Lakes Library System and supported by an action grant from Humanities NY.

Story House Ithaca is a community organization devoted to bringing people together around stories. Prisoner Express and Story House Ithaca are both projects of the nonprofit Center for Transformative Action.


May 31, 2023
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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Cortland Free Library
32 Church Street
Cortland, NY 13045 United States
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