Upcoming art exhibit displays work by local inmates

13News Now Chenue Her spoke with local inmates who were the special artists behind a unique exhibit at the Chrysler Museum of Art.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The Chrysler Museum of Art is teaming with the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office to exhibit artworks created by inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.

Despite limited access to supplies, they create truly impressive works to express themselves and, of course, feel the therapeutic benefits of creating in the process. Supplies include special pens approved for use by inmates, deodorant, candy and more.

"There's an additional layer of creativity that's required to create these works on the part of the inmates," said Michael Berlucchi, Community Engagement Manager for the Chrysler Museum of Art.

One of the artists, Willie Taylor, said he's a self-taught artist and wanted his artwork on display to show that he may be incarcerated, but he's a human-being.

He said his artwork represents peace and love.

"I want them to still look at me as a peaceful human being and a loving human being," he said.

Taylor is in jail for weapons and drug charges.

Sheriff Kenneth Stolle said he and his deputies noticed the artwork while doing rounds, and that's when they decided to reach out to the art museum.

Like Taylor, he hopes this shows the community that these inmates are still members of society who have something to offer.

"We treat the people in our jail as humans and that we recognize their talents. We recognize that they've made bad mistakes but we treat them with respect and they deserve our respect," said Sheriff Stolle.

The free exhibit opens on Oct. 19.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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