'From the Inside' Art Exhibit Featured Art Created by Incarcerated Women

At the beginning of February, the Hippodrome in Downtown Gainesville hosted an exhibit showcasing art from the journals of incarcerated women.

This art exhibit filled the walls of the Hippodrome with drawings and paintings that express emotions of these incarcerated women, and it showcased the ways in which they deal with the reality of living life behind bars.

Posters placed around the exhibit explain that these women were introduced to the idea of journey daybooks, an idea created by Peggy Herrick.

A journey daybook is essentially a journal that uses visuals and art to help a person take a step back and meditate on certain paths or aspects of their lives.

According to information displayed around the exhibit, “In August 2013, with a small grant from Satchel’s Pizza in Gainesville, Florida and subsequent grants from the Dharma Foundation, volunteer Journey Daybook members began teaching the Journey Daybook process to groups of women incarcerated at the Florida Women’s Reception Center in Lowell, Florida. The curriculum included eight three-hour sessions and covered drawing, painting, and the principles of color, writing, collage and design of the page. Seven courses have been offered to date and seventy women have completed the course and received certificates.”

Learning what this program truly does allows one to see just how a journal can help these women find an outlet in their lives that allows them to grow and express themselves while contained behind a jail cell.