The Quick Center will hold an opening reception at 5 p.m. Nov. 9. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb came up with the idea of art courses at the jail and approached Quick Center officials. After working out details, the program began this past summer. Sean Conklin, assistant curator at the QCA, was the art teacher and classes were held in the Little Valley jail every Wednesday evening for 12 weeks during the summer.
The inmates’ artwork includes spiritual, patriotic, family and cultural themes. The materials ranged from pencils to paints. One of the first projects was a book cover and the works quickly progressed to larger works in a variety of materials.
"The program is an extension of the university’s Franciscan values,” said Ludwig Brunner, executive director of the Quick Center. “We are trying to help the prisoners rehabilitate.”
Whitcomb noted that the word corrections means just that, correcting someone who needs help.
“I would be remiss as sheriff if we didn’t look at all opportunities to enhance someone’s life skills so they don’t repeat,” said Whitcomb.
Daniel French, a retired captain at the jail who returned to work part time to oversee the art classes and another program, said from what he’s seen over the three months, the program has been very successful.
“I was really impressed,” he said. “There is no downside.”
The sheriff also noted that the program operates without taxpayer funds. In addition to the contribution from St. Bonaventure University, other donations and money from the jail commissary funded the program.
Conklin created a variety of greeting and Christmas cards using the inmates’ artwork, which will be on sale at the Quick Center during the exhibition. Any profits will go back into the art program and to the Southern Tier Child Advocacy Center in Olean.
Regular gallery hours at the Quick Center are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Museum admission is free and open to the public, year round. Visit The Quick Arts Center online at www.sbu.edu/QuickCenter.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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