For several years, Central Kansas Prison Ministry Match 2 volunteer Glenn Lygrisse has been meeting with El Dorado Correctional Facility inmate Mikel Trumbly.
After helping Trumbly’s interest in painting grow, Lygrisse received an original acrylic painting of a Meadowlark, sitting on a fence post on the prairie.
The painting from Trumbly, which hangs in Lygrisse’s home, inspired the idea to coordinate an exhibit of inmate art.
On Tuesday, a reception was held for the third such exhibit, “Art Unlocked III” in the Hubbard Welcome Center at Butler Community College.
Secretary of Corrections Ray Roberts was in attendance and spoke about the importance of having inmates complete constructive projects.
“Our business is public safety,” said Roberts. “A part of public safety is providing opportunities for inmates to grow.”
He also thanked Butler for hosting the inmate art exhibit.
“We appreciate this opportunity,” said Roberts. “This type of program gives them an outlet. It gives them an opportunity to give back. You have really made a lot of inmates’ days by doing this.”
Butler President Jackie Vietti spoke about the college’s mission to promote lifelong learning to every community it serves.
“We view the folks at EDCF as a community to serve,” she said. “We’re honored to help serve them. We welcome all people of all ages and all walks of life.”
“Art Unlocked III” opened Sept. 7 in the Hubbard Welcome Center Open Gallery and will be on display until Oct. 8.
The exhibit showcases the work of 10 inmates who used their time to create something personally meaningful. Some of the artists had never touched a paintbrush before beginning work on these projects.