NORFOLK, Va. – Works of art created by inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center are part of an art exhibit at the Chrysler Museum.
Called “Beyond the Block” the exhibit will be on view until November 26. Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle said years ago when he saw the artwork inmates created, he was blown away. This is a chance for others to witness that art for themselves.
“I believe art can aide in offenders’ rehabilitation as they work through the mistakes of their past and look forward to their future. We hope that their future is as productive members of our community,” said Sheriff Stolle.
Despite security measures prohibiting the use of most art supplies, inmates created impressive works of art using pens designed specifically for those in high-security environments. They also incorporated color with candy and other items.
“This is a rare chance for people who are incarcerated to creatively express themselves beyond the confinement of their detention, and it is an opportunity for the general public to connect with people who are incarcerated,” said Michael Berlucchi, Chrysler Museum Community Engagement Manager.
Some of the art is three-dimensional, including a piece named Straight & Narrow by Jonathan LaCount. His Mom explained the meaning behind the art is if you look at it straight on, you’ll see the photo of the his girlfriend and daughter. But if you look at it from any other angle, it appears broken.
“He knows what he needs to follow in order to keep his family together otherwise they’re all broken up,” said Lynn Kline.
His girlfriend, Diana Taylor said she sent Jonathan the photo, but didn’t expect the result he created.
“I was amazed by it. Automatically my heart just dropped because I know he has so much talent, he could be home, but decided to do what he did and be where he’s at now. So I am a little messed up because I wish he was here,” said Taylor.