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HCC displays sculpture, artwork of MCI inmates

April 20, 2000

The artwork of about 20 inmates at the Maryland Correctional Institution south of Hagerstown is on public display until May 3 at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater.

"There are 37 pieces in the show," said Victor Wachs, advisor for the art group at MCI. "One is a paper sculpture while the rest are pastels, pencil, acrylics, oils, etc."

Wachs said the art show, as well as the art classes, are available to inmates because of the support and sponsorship of the Washington County Arts Council and the Community Correctional Services Committee.

Wachs has about 40 inmates in his art classes.

Last spring, 42 pieces of art were displayed at two buildings in Hagerstown's Public Square.

None of the work is for sale but students can send their art home, Wachs said.

Inmates who are in the art group must pay for their own supplies from their inmate accounts, which include their own funds and a stipend allotted to the program.

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Every three months, $50 is made available for the group, Wachs said. If they can't afford their supplies, their families and friends can contribute to their accounts.

The art group at the prison meets once a week and works on projects.

Murals have been painted in various locations throughout the prison, Wachs said.

- Marlo Barnhart

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