NEWBURGH - Incorrigibles: Bearing Witness to the Incarcerated Girls of New York advocates for youth justice through exploration of and engagement with the past. This transmedia exhibit gives voice to …
NEWBURGH - Incorrigibles: Bearing Witness to the Incarcerated Girls of New York advocates for youth justice through exploration of and engagement with the past. This transmedia exhibit gives voice to the untold stories of those sent to the New York Training School for Girls (1904-1975) throughout the 20th century. Located at Ann Street Gallery, the Incorrigibles exhibit will be on view until Sept. 10, with closing events hosted throughout the day on the 10th; including free art workshops: wand-making, button-making, presentations by healers and historians, and more.
Since 2014 when the project was founded, Incorrigibles has illuminated the systemic failure of the juvenile justice system – and plans for the future of justice for girls through art, storytelling, and public engagement. This project continues the mission of taking back the word “incorrigible,” redefining it as a symbol of agency and resilience.
This exhibition features several interactive elements, including immersive video, large scale archival portraits, and participant contributions via text and audio. Ann Street Gallery Director, Diana Mangaser shares, “With Newburgh being one of the main communities who sent ‘incorrigible’ girls to the Hudson School, it is a special honor for Ann Street Gallery to host this exhibition in the heart of Newburgh’s downtown and share the Incorrigibles project with our community.”
Oral histories are continually recorded to preserve and share the stories of women who were incarcerated when they were young. Cynthia Boykin, a Newburgh native who was sent to the Training School in the 1970s, now works within the Incorrigibles team. When asked about the significance of this exhibition in her home city, she said, “It’s been 50 years since my time at the Training School. This is an awakening for me, an opportunity to go back and reach the little girl I once was. My story is one of many, so it is essential that our stories are told. Our voices need to be heard.” Cynthia and other women sent to the Training School participated in a community engagement workshop in early July, connecting with young women through writing, art, and story sharing.
A state-of-the-art audio recording booth has recently been installed at Ann Street Gallery. The booth provides a space for visitors to leave their “Incorrigible” story; whether they were at the New York State Training School for Girls, another institution, or just wish to leave their thoughts about what the exhibition’s stories bring up for them. The booth provides accessibility and privacy for those who, like Cynthia, may not have considered sharing their story until now.
The exhibition will remain on display through Sept. 10 at Ann Street Gallery, located at 104 Ann St, Newburgh, NY 12550. The gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 p.m. and by appointment at other times. Closing events will be held on September 10 from 12-6 p.m.
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