“Off the Grid,” an exhibit of artwork by Fairfax County and City of Alexandria inmates, will run from July 12 - August 31, 2018 at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA. A reception is scheduled for July 20, from 7-9 p.m., with opening remarks at 7:30 p.m. by volunteer art instructor Kelli Schollard-Sincock.
“We are always open to trying new programs in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center that give inmates more opportunities to better themselves while they are incarcerated,” said Sheriff Stacey Kincaid. “Our goal is rehabilitation. The more inmates learn and the more positive skills they gain will go a long way toward increasing their chances for success once they are released.”
The art class not only teaches inmates relaxation and coping skills, but more importantly, it helps them become more task- and goal-oriented. It also gives them a marketable skill for the future.
Schollard-Sincock, who holds art degrees from George Mason University and University of Washington, teaches at both the Fairfax County and City of Alexandria detention centers. The inmates vary in age, background and artistic experience, with most having never drawn before. To get started, she gives each new student a choice of photographs on which to base his or her art. She uses a step-by-step pencil drawing process with a grid system to teach the basics in observation and interpretation of line, tone and texture. She says a single drawing can take from a few class sessions to a few months to complete.
For more information about the art classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in volunteering with Fairfax County inmates, please review the different opportunities and apply through Fairfax County’s Volunteer Management System.