Lufrano Gallery features works from incarcerated juveniles

Tristan Reyes

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Photo by Lili Weinstein

Incarcerated student artists awaiting their trial had their works seen in the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery.

Photo by Lili Weinstein

The Lufrano Intercultural Gallery introduced a new installation Thursday, County Missives. County Missives is a project directed by Tony Rodriguez, a teaching artist from the John E. Goode Pre-Trial Detention Facility. “Sadly the artists aren’t allowed to join us for the exhibition of their own artworks, but I believe that they would’ve enjoyed having their works being seen by all of these people,” said Tony Rodriguez.

Several pieces of the exhibition are made by incarcerated juveniles from Duval County who are going to be adjudicated as adults. Many of the works that can be seen at County Missives use a form of art called Abstract Expressionism which helps the students use various techniques to express themselves. One of the pieces is a table which contains a list of the food students can buy in the Duval County Detention Center, showing the conditions of the artist’s face.

Photo by Lili Weinstein

Rodriguez is also a part of the Cathedral Arts Project, a Jacksonville-based nonprofit assisting underprivileged children with artistic outlets. The Cathedral Arts Project helps the students find a creative outlet while also strengthening their art skills. According to Rodriguez, allowing them to create also helps these students express themselves in nonviolent ways.

“Besides the actual paintings and whether it’s the art, this is really also about spending quality time with them (artists) and discussing ideas with them. So I hope this calls ourselves to reflect on what we can we do to have a positive presence with young people under these circumstances,” said Tony Rodriguez

Thursday was the first time the exhibit was shown publicly and Jennifer Clements, the Communications & Marketing Manager of the Cathedral Arts Project, plans on County Missives to continue once it’s finished in the Lufrano Gallery. The exhibition is open from March 30 to June 30, 2017 and is free to all. 

Photo by Lili Weinstein

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