“Behind the Wall” Art Exhibition

“Behind the Wall” Provides a Peek into the Lives and Hearts of People in Prison

Painting by James Allen Gregg, Minneapolis, MN


The artists and writers of Prisoner Express are on display at the Tompkins County Public Library throughout February. Come explore the creativity and humanity of incarcerated men and women participating in the PE program.

Stop by on Friday, Feb 3 at 4 pm for the informal opening.

A full description of the show is below. Email us at prisonerexpress@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Exhibit opens Wednesday at TCPL

Nearly 2 million Americans live in jails, prisons, and detention centers, all but invisible to the rest of the world. A new exhibit at Tompkins County Public Library provides a glimpse into some of their lives, hearts, minds, and imaginations.

Organized by Story House Ithaca, “Behind the Wall” is a traveling exhibition of drawings, paintings, letters, stories, and poems produced by people in prison. It includes 140 works by 90 incarcerated individuals from detention facilities in 22 states. There is a letter-writing station where visitors can send feedback directly to the participating artists.

The artworks will be on display in TCPL’s Avenue of the Friends for the entire month of February. There will be an informal opening reception at the library on Friday, February 3, from 4 to 5 p.m. No registration is required.

The exhibit will travel to Seymour Public Library in Auburn in March, Seneca Falls Library in April, Coburn Free Library in Owego in May, and Cortland Free Library in June.

The artworks and writings in “Behind the Wall” have been collected by Prisoner Express, a project of Durland Alternatives Library at Cornell, and curated by Newfield- based artist Treacy Ziegler. Both Story House Ithaca and Prisoner Express are projects of the Ithaca-based nonprofit Center for Transformative Action.

“Behind the Wall” is presented in collaboration with the Finger Lakes Library System and the five participating libraries. It is supported by an action grant from Humanities NY.