Prison artists received recognition when the Department of Correctional Services officially opened the Free State and Northern Cape Offender Art Exhibition in Kimberley.
OFFENDERS received recognition when the Department of Correctional Services officially opened the Free State and Northern Cape Offender Art Exhibition in Kimberley on Wednesday evening.
The official opening at the William Humphreys Art Gallery saw multitudes of people gracing it with their presence.
This event was officiated by the regional commissioner for Free State and Northern Cape, Subashini Moodley, who delivered the keynote address.
Moodley lauded art as a powerful tool to express oneself and one’s emotions.
She pointed out that art can be interpreted differently by the people who get to see it.
“We need to hold the young children at hand and expose them to this beautiful world of art,” said Moodley.
“Art makes education an even greater equaliser of the society. It is on this premise that, among many other programmes we have, we are now mulling over the establishment of Art Exhibition Centres in the department,” she added.
“The department started the Art Against Crime campaign with William Humphrey in 2014 as it speaks to its mandate as the Department of Correctional Services (DCS).
“Our role is to ensure that when a person, who might have been labelled as a rotten individual within society, comes out of prison, art turns them into a different person to what they were at the time of their incarceration.
“Some of the artwork you see here was made by inmates who had no skill whatsoever before their incarceration. This means we need to give them a second chance and thereby ensure the efficacy of their re-integration back into society upon their release.”
Moodley elaborated that, as an integral part of the Self-sufficiency and Sustainability Strategic Framework of the department, art is an important component in terms of the DCS’s skills development programmes.
The Free State and Northern Cape region will officially be launching the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Centre in Groenpunt later in July.