Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, May 25, 2018

Message takes flight as inmates complete County Jail mural

An inmate displays his contribution to the mural. - Photograph provided

Inmates at the Hamilton County Jail have created a mural expressing their message to “people on the outside.”

After discussing the stigma associated with being an offender, participants decided to demonstrate the idea that they could, after rejoining society, be worthwhile citizens capable of creating work that beautifies neighborhoods.

To depict this idea, they settled on the theme of birds – beautiful creatures experiencing freedom.

Inmates started by drawing individual birds. Digital versions of their drawings were organized into a composition sized to fit the billboard’s location at 2501 Glass St. in East Chattanooga during Photoshop sessions in the jail classroom. The birds were scaled, traced onto parachute cloth and then painted during their classes.

From preliminary discussions to the finished piece, “Birds of Freedom” took one year to complete. During that time, about 75 inmates attended art classes funded by the Tennessee Arts Commission and had a hand in creating the mural.

Nonprofit Mark Making has hosted art classes in the Hamilton County Jail most Friday nights since 2012.

Source: Mark Making