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Artwork from prisoners brightens Hamilton

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Murals created by Westgate Correctional Facility inmates were installed in the City of Hamilton as part of a continuing beautification project.

One inmate, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he and others had been pleased to take part in the art project — to give back and “make a contribution to the community”.

The man added of the mural project: “It was an enjoyable experience. We are looking forward to seeing the projects installed. We will send our family members to see it.”

Another inmate said the project was the first time he had used acrylic paints in his work.

The installation of the artwork on the eastern wall of Cavendish car park is part of a project started three years ago to beautify areas in Hamilton.

More than a dozen art installations have gone up since the programme began.

A spokeswoman with the City of Hamilton said it had approached the Department of Corrections about the project.

She added that additional artwork from other local artists would be installed in the City in the months ahead.

Both inmates thanked Lester Harnett, Westgate's art instructor, for the chance to take part in the project.

Mr Harnett said that the most recent project completed by his class was something to be proud of.

He said the paintings — depicting local fruits and reef life — were completed by a team of five prisoners and himself.

Mr Harnett added: “The collaboration was great and left us with a sense of accomplishment. “Families and friends can feel especially proud of these men.”

He thanked fellow teacher Margo Jean Fraser and Westgate staff for their support.

Janée Pitt, the co-ordinator of the project for the City of Hamilton, described the murals as something special.

She added: “The big, bold, bright pieces add a real pop of colour to what has always been a pretty uninteresting spot.”

Ms Pitt said the City was “delighted” to work with the Department of Corrections to allow inmates the chance to do something positive for the community. She added: “We are thrilled with the result and hope the public enjoys the pieces.”

Photograph supplied
Photograph supplied

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Published September 06, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated September 06, 2018 at 9:00 am)

Artwork from prisoners brightens Hamilton

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