The Barnes Foundation exhibits art from behind bars

Currently on display at the Barnes Foundation, “Through My I: Art from SCI: Phoenix” is a selection of paintings, collages, and other mixed-medium pieces created by 10 artists from the State Correctional Institute — Phoenix, a southeast Pennsylvania maximum security prison for men. Tasked with interpreting the theme of life beyond the confines of prison, the men were given no parameters or instructions on how or what to create., only the reassurance that their imaginations could run free, even if they couldn’t in reality.

William “Bill” Perthes, the Bernard C. Watson director of adult education, has partnered with Mural Arts Philadelphia through their Restorative Justice Program to curate this exhibit for the fourth time in six years. Each year, he’s continually stunned by the creativity embedded in each piece.

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