Craven County Community College hosts annual prison art show

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – A new, temporary art display is being held at Craven Community College, and the artists behind it might surprise you.

Artwork created with watercolor, pencils, pastels, and collages hang in the library at Craven Community College for the first time ever.

“The fact that we have this artwork from all over the state is a really unique opportunity,” said Craig Ramey, the Community Engagement Director of Craven Community College.

Displayed as part of the 44th annual North Carolina Prison Art Show, “Visions beyond Barriers.” The art is made by inmates from a total of 56 prisons across the state.

“We’re able to show some of the resources that are available for folks who are re-entering after being incarcerated,” said Ramey.

Portia Bright Pittman, who founded a program that helps people with the re-entry process, says this gives inmates a healthy outlet.

“Art is a way for prisoners to express themselves, and especially if they’ve been in a space of being isolated they may have emotions that have been dormant for some time so art for them to express themselves versus being in a situation hurting or hurting themselves,” said Bright Pittman.

Not only do prisoners get to proudly display their works of art, but Craven Community College students also get to enjoy the temporary addition to their library.

Students or community members can also vote on their favorite piece of art, and the top five winners will be presented with awards in various categories.

The display is at Godwin Memorial Library at Craven Community College. It is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Friday. It will be up until May 3rd.