The Art of Second Chances: ABPP Celebrates Second Annual Art Show

By Matthew Estes, Communications Director

MONTGOMERY – On Tuesday, the second annual Changing the Course: Art by the Currently & Formerly Incarcerated exhibition event was held at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery. Media, stakeholders, legislators and other interested parties attended this educational event featuring food, drinks, music and the works of the artists.

Several artists were in attendance, including Tameca Cole, whose works have been included in galleries across the South. An array of artforms were on display, such as paintings, sculptures, welding projects, mixed-media pieces, and other unique outlets.

The event was a success with a turnout equal to or higher than the first exhibition from an audience eager to see art from Alabama’s justice-involved individuals. Attendees discussed how art from the currently and formerly incarcerated spoke on an emotional level uncommon of art from the general population.

Attendees also learned more about the Bureau’s rehabilitation programs as well as the efforts of our event and community partners.

An updated video with event partners, partner programs, Bureau programs, interviews with artists and a tour of some of the art is available here:

Discussions and plans regarding a third Changing the Course event next year are already underway.

Speakers at the exhibition included Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm, Ingram State Technical College President Annette Funderburk, Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project Director Kyes Stevens, ADAH Director Steve Murray, Alabama Department of Mental Health Chief of Staff Ada Katherine van Wyhe, and Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Director Cam Ward.

Ward, in the spirit of Second Chance Month, spoke of how engagement in the creative arts leads to a remarkable decrease in recidivism potential.

Special recognition was given to Executive Assistant to the Director Jill Stallworth, who was the lead coordinator for the event. She was primarily responsible for communicating with vendors and partners, as well as decorating and planning all aspects of the event.  

The Bureau also thanks event partners – ADOC, Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, ISTC, ADAH, ADMH, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and all event participants for making this exhibition possible.