Austen Riggs Center presents “Art in Marginalized Populations,” featuring author Phyllis Kornfeld



Stockbridge, MA – August 9, 2016 – The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center is pleased to host “Art in Marginalized Populations,” a presentation by, and discussion with, Phyllis Kornfeld, author of Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America, on Tuesday, August 23 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at the Austen Riggs Center. The event is free and open to the public. 

Rich in images and insights, the presentation will look at Kornfeld’s experiences during a 34-year career working directly with incarcerated people in all levels of security – from county jails to death row. In these contexts, Kornfeld has helped provide prisoners the transformative experience of speaking through their art. “It is a misconception that beauty depicted in art could not come from an ‘evil’ convict,” she says. “Creativity, truth, and goodness can be elicited just as violence can.”

Mark Mulherrin, instructor in visual arts in the Activities Program at the Austen Riggs Center, and Kornfeld will also discuss the similarities and differences in their experiences working with art in marginalized populations – the prison and the psychiatric hospital – revealing the potential of art to unleash the creative power inside people for whom language is an insufficient form of expression.

In conjunction with the presentation, the Lavender Door Gallery of the Austen Riggs Center is hosting a special exhibition of selected drawings and paintings from Kornfeld’s collection of artwork, created by some of the people she has worked with over the years. The exhibition runs from August 16 - September 18 at the Lavender Door Gallery, 37 Main Street Stockbridge, MA. Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

About the Austen Riggs Center

Austen Riggs Center, a leading psychiatric hospital and residential treatment program, has been serving adults since 1919.  Within a completely open setting, patients are provided immersion in an intensive treatment milieu that emphasizes respectful engagement. Individual, psychodynamic psychotherapy is provided four times per week by doctors on staff. 

The Austen Riggs Center is located in Stockbridge, MA.  For more information about its services, please call [413] 298.5511 or 1-800-517-4447 or visit www.austenriggs.org.


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