The CAA’s Prison Art Program
The CAA’s Prison Art Program began in 2020 through a collaboration with Restorative Justice volunteers Libby Fisher and Erica Averion who were actively and regularly volunteering with the residents of Walton Correctional Institution (WCI) and were aware of the need for arts engagement and resources within the prison system.
The CAA funded the first phase of the program, which included participation by men in three WCI dorms who created original work for an online exhibit called “Con-scious Expressions: An Insider’s Perspective,” which was then shown in public at Emerald Coast Theatre Company and Perla Bakery through Summer 2021.
In February 2022, the CAA expanded the program to include weekly onsite art instruction, materials, and a venue for public exhibition of the students’ work with a plan to continue to fund the program indefinitely.
Prison Art Program exhibitions showcase original work created by men incarcerated in one of WCI’s dorms, including Faith & Character, Re-entry, and Veterans/Honor, in which the Restorative Justice Volunteers have been developing outreach programs for and relationships with the nearly 300 residents.
WCI Arts Education Program
Walton Correctional Institution (WCI) residents participate in a weekly class led by artist and instructor Bradley Copeland who challenges them to let go of any predetermined plan and allow the enjoyment and exploration of the process to guide them. These original artworks were created during the Summer 2023 sessions.
Surrender: Letting Go To Gain Perspective
“Surrender: Letting Go To Gain Perspective” is the first outcome of the CAA’s Prison Art Program expansion. The show features more than 30 original paintings and works on paper created by residents of the Walton Correctional Institution (WCI) who took part in the CAA’s first Prison Art Education program.