An exhibition of artwork created by prisoners from across the South West of England raised hundreds of pounds for charity.
Nearly £350 has been donated to PACT, one of the UK’s leading charities which supports families of offenders, as a result of the efforts put in by the prisoners.
Some of the artwork created for the exhibition was sold at a silent auction to raise the money.
The three-day event, ‘A Brush With Nature’, took place last September at the Weston College Conference Centre next to the Knightstone Campus.
More than 200 people visited the exhibition, which attracted more than 90 entries. It was the College’s first dedicated offender learning creative arts event.
Judges spent more than three hours deliberating over the high standard of diverse artwork on show, in categories which included multi-media, audio, writing, craft and design, and art.
Feedback from visitors who attended the event included: “Some of the poetry brought a lump to my throat; lovely use of words” and “an excellent exhibition revealing some amazing talent”.
Delyse Taylor, Offender Learning Services Area Operations Manager, who helped organise the event, said: “The exhibition showcased the high standard of creative art work that is produced across the South West prison region.
“We were delighted with the range and standard of work that was submitted to the exhibition, and even more pleased that an excellent charity has been able to benefit as a result.
“Engaging offenders with art encourages them to express their feelings and opinions in a positive and creative way, which boosts their personal confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.
“Based on the success of this first exhibition, there have been requests for another creative arts event in the future, and it is hoped that this may become an annual event.”
PACT – Parents And Children Together – was founded in 1911, and helps hundreds of families every year through adoption and award-winning therapeutic support.
It also runs community projects supporting vulnerable children and adults who face a range of issues and difficulties.