Select works created by Therapeutic Art Program participants at Sussex Correctional Institution are on exhibit at Millsboro Art League through Friday, Feb. 28. Open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 to 3 p.m., Sundays, the MAL Gallery is at 203 Main St. in Millsboro.
“This really is a wonderful opportunity,” said Program Coordinator Nancy Thomas, who started overseeing the program four years ago. “The art league was very enthusiastic about the show, which goes along with their commitment to being community-based and community-focused.”
The art program, which has been in place at SCI for about 10 years, is viewed very positively by participants, who see it as a way to maintain some structure and stability during their incarceration period. “It keeps me on the right track and keeps me positive,” says William McKinney, who prefers to paint subjects that are peaceful and calm. “It gives you a little bit of hope.”
Although Thomas has some experience in art and teaching, the program is not instructional, and there is no prerequisite of artistic ability for participating. “I want them to do what they want in terms of creating art. They enjoy that, and I think that provides the best type of end result for a therapeutic program,” says Thomas.
Public reaction to previous SCI exhibits at MAL has been very positive with comments about the amazing talent of the participants. A reception to celebrate this year’s artistic accomplishments will be held from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8. The public is invited and encouraged to see this impressive show containing many surprising and impressive artistic creations. For more information, visit www.millsboroartleague.com.
Programs of the Millsboro Art League are made possible, in part, by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency committed to promoting and supporting the arts in Delaware. For more information, visit www.artsdel.org.