In 2014, Marion County Sheriff’s Office asked the Indianapolis Art Center to teach art classes to the young boys and girls locked up in Marion County Jail.

According to the Indianapolis Art Center, teens in the jail were repeatedly being caught with—canvases made of pillowcases, paints made of candies, and a host of other DIY art supplies. All these were technically contraband. But they were also a glaring pointer to the fact that young minds want to remain engaged and creative.

“These juveniles were trying to find a positive outlet in a very hard situation,” says IAC.

Making a bad situation less bad, IAC and the Sheriff’s Office created the Insider Art program.

“We know that art can be a peaceful outlet for self-expression, a tool to channel frustrations, and an opportunity to reflect on new pathways.”

In weekly studio art classes, children considered themselves within the three concepts: I Am, I Create, and We Connect.

Insider Art has just completed its first summer of instruction within the jail. There’s a show of the children’s work opening at the Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E 67th St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46220. Friday 23rd, from 6pm-8pm.

Support Insider Art with a donation HERE.