Incarcerated Art Through the Eyes of the Youth

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Antonia Bernal Medaleno, CSU student and MoA Intern, Spring 2024

Dark clouds scattered the sky as a group from the Boys and Girls Club made their way to the
Museum of Art in Fort Collins on February 27 th , 2024. Seven middle schoolers gained the
opportunity to visit the museum’s latest exhibit, “To See Inside: Art, Architecture, and
Incarceration.” The group was given a list of things to look for in each piece and they were off to
explore. They roamed around as they viewed and pointed out other details that lived within the
art that stood in front of them. Josie Taylor, the MoA For All Manager, expresses that one of the
goals of the program is to offer free art to kids. With that, she provides schools and organizations
within the surrounding area free field trips to the museum. After spending some time in the
exhibit, one artist stood out to them. Many of them resonated with Sean Marshall’s piece titled,
“Crumbling,” because they could sense the notion of mental health illnesses such as depression,
as they experienced similar feelings in their own lives. Though the group consisted of a younger
audience, the overall goal of the exhibit is to bring forth an emotional response from those who
view these art pieces. As they discussed the pieces and got to know more about some of the
artists, it was their turn to make art. The museum houses an Art Engagement Center, which sits
on the second floor and provides a space for people to create art, as they offer a variety of art
supplies. From sculpting clay faces to making glitter, the group showed off their artistic and
creative side with no hesitation. As the trip came to an end, not only did the group gain more
knowledge on this subject, but they left the museum with a better understanding of the world
around us.

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