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Rare Opportunity To See Artwork From Incarcerated Women and Men-Art Show In Ossining, NY
Throughout July 2018, visitors to the Ossining Public Library Art Gallery will see more than 60 pieces of artwork created by men and women in NY State prisons via RTA-Rehabilitation Through The Arts. Public reception on July 14th from 3 to 5 PM.
All the artwork has been created by prisoner members of RTA - Rehabilitation Through The Arts, a non-profit organization operating in the prison system for over twenty-two years. Because of their long-standing and positive relationship with NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, RTA received approval to exhibit and sell the artwork.
A public Gallery Reception will be held in the Ossining Public Library Art Gallery on Saturday, July 14 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm and will feature refreshments and the opportunity to talk with formerly incarcerated RTA artists including Jeffrey Clemente and Amaury Bonilla.
Jeffrey Clemente, who was a member of RTA while serving seven years at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, said, "When I got involved with RTA it expanded my imaginative mind about art and took me to another creative space. It was like I was able to express myself in this creative environment without any judgment…art is really the platform that allowed me to express myself."
Amaury Bonilla served 10 years at Sing Sing. About the Ossining exhibit, he comments, "Society only looks at people convicted of a crime as criminals and that's all they know, when it's not reality – prisoners are still human beings who have different talents and skills, and through this exhibit, visitors will gain awareness that we're not just a number; we're human beings able to express ourselves in numerous ways."
RTA is partnering with the Ossining Public Library (OPL), the Ossining Arts Council (OAC) and the Sing Sing Prison Museum (SSPM) to make this important exhibit available to the public. These three Ossining-based nonprofits share RTA's belief in the transformative power of the arts to change lives and build communities. By providing the space, expertise and historical context for the artwork, the OPL, OAC, and SSPM aim to enhance RTA's work in telling the stories of incarcerated people and how they benefit through the healing power of art in all its forms.
Gale Harrison, the owner of the Paint Box in Bedford Hills, New York, generously donated her expertise and time to frame each of the 60 art pieces in collaboration with Rehabilitation Through The Arts-RTA.
Rehabilitation Through The Arts uses the creative arts of theatre, dance, visual art, creative writing, and music to transform lives. Its curriculum develops and expands critical life skills for the more than 200 incarcerated men and women they serve. Two evidenced-based and published studies have proven the arts curriculum RTA delivers is effective in changing discipline records and is a catalyst for learning. RTA prisoner members do not return to prison. While the national recidivism (return to prison) rate is more than 50%, RTA's recidivism is less than 7%.
The Ossining Public Library (OPL) is located at 53 Croton Avenue. For more information visit www.ossininglibrary.org, or call 914-941-2416 ext. 327 or 317. For information on RTA, visit www.rta-arts.org, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914-232-7566.