It’s been one year since the women behind Redemption Art made their first sale beyond the prison walls.
After their first show ever at last year’s Strathearn Art Walk, they are back again on Sept. 10 to share their works of art – and their stories.
Redemption Art is a program through the Open Door Project, an organization that helps men and women reintegrate into the community after coming out of prison.
The artists behind Redemption Art are women leaving the criminal justice system. They create jewelry and crafts to sell to the public.
The idea for this group of artists came from Debbie Fawcett, women’s reintegration chaplain.
“At the prison, in the display case, ladies put items there for sale,” she says. “But their market would be the staff and people who come to visit. So, one day I was doing some work there and thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was somewhere else to make these things available for sale?”
Debbie then connected with Jenny McAlister, chair of the Strathearn Art Walk organizing committee and president of Strathearn Community League.
“I knew of the important work that the Open Door Project was doing with women in our community, and I heard that they were looking for a venue to sell some of their handmade items,” Jenny says. “It seemed like a perfect fit and a great opportunity to support the very crucial work they do in our community.”
Not only does Redemption Art offer a platform for women to sell their items, it also offers the opportunity for public education.
“As people come up to the table, we let them know that the items they are looking at are made by people in the criminal justice system,” Debbie says. “Some people are surprised. They are also happy because it gives them a nice story when they buy a piece.”
Stop by their table during the Strathearn Art Walk to chat about the items and to learn more about the artists behind Redemption Art.
Written by Simone Chan