CPA Prison Arts Program Permanent Collection

by NLMS Director

The PRISON ARTS PROGRAM, initiated in 1978, works with the Department of Correction to build and maintain a positive and constructive environment in Connecticut's prisons. Art is - and always has been - one of the most prevalent activities in any prison system. Building on this, the Prison Arts Program encourages artist to look beyond the traditional portraiture, tattoo patterns, copying or generic landscapes that are so common in prison. Artist are asked to create work that only exists because they exist - artwork which is unique, emotive, evolving, thoughtful, and thought provoking. While advocating for the value of rigorous, long term endeavors, the program promotes a change in direction, attitude, possibility, work ethic and empathy for all of those living and working in the State's prisons. The results are often extraordinary.

Exhibitions and publications culminate the program's work each year organizing and facilitating arts workshops, collectives and projects within the State's prisons. These exhibitions and publications also provide the general public with a unique and substantial window into an often unseen part of our community.

As well, the CPA - through purchase and donation - adds new artworks to a "PERMANENT COLLECTION." These works are chosen for their unique qualities and to provide a wide view of all of the artwork created in program workshops and in the State's prisons. These artworks become part of traveling exhibitions throughout the region and the country. This collection is a unique endeavor that had become one of the great treasures of the State of Connecticut - a complex body of artwork that reminds us to look in the most unlikely of places (inside our prisons, inside the seemingly lowest of us or in ourselves) for greatness, grace, and inspiration.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS IN ACTION is a non-profit agency created in 1875 that is dedicated to building a better community by providing services that promote accountability, dignity, and restoration for people affected by the criminal justice system.

THIS EXHIBITION AND THE WORK OF THE PRISON ARTS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH SUPPORT FROM: Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund administered by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut (CT), Concerned Citizens for Humanity, CT Commission on Economic and Community Development - Office of the Arts, CT Department of Correction, CT Health Foundation, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Hartford Community Court, George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, William and Alice Mortensen Foundation, NewAlliance Foundation, and many other individuals and collaborating organizations. The CPA Prison Arts Program is honored to have your faith in their work!


Jeffrey Greene, Program Manager / 860.722.9450 / /

Written by:

NLMS Director