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A splash of color in an institutional world

Posted: Friday, Aug 8th, 2014

Arts Council director Michelle Williams (standing) talks about the importance of a new mural that was largely painted by inmates under the direction of mural artist Arturo Thomae Friday at the Rountree Detention Facility. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — What was once a large expanse of grey concrete wall at the Santa Cruz County Rountree Detention Facility cafeteria now boasts a giant seascape mural, thanks to a group of 22 inmates who spent three months with paintbrushes in hand.

The project was spearheaded by the William James Association Prison Arts Project, and Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office as a positive activity for the inmates.

The 28-foot mural covers one wall inside the Rountree dining hall and features the Monterey Bay coastline, with crashing waves, sea life and a lighthouse.

“I felt it was important for the men to have a venue for self-expression,” said Inmate Program Coordinator Kristie Clemens. “It’s really been a community-building project for the Rountree community. The inmates can enjoy a bit of beauty in their lives every day.”

For the complete article see the 08-09-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-09-2014 paper.

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