Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana at the Newcomb Art Museum

NEW ORLEANS -- Until last year, Louisiana was known as the incarceration capital of the world.

Now, a local museum is raising awareness about mass incarceration in a unique way.

The Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane has a new exhibition called, "Per(sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana."

It features 30 currently and formerly jailed women in Louisiana.

"Often these voices are either overlooked, misunderstood, you know, completely just written off," says curator, Laura Blereau.

Each woman was interviewed, and their stories were turned into pieces of art.

The exhibition also includes facts and statistics about women who are imprisoned and how it changes their lives and the lives around them.

For instance, only 18 percent of female inmates have committed violent crimes.

Today, 80 percent of female inmates are mothers.

Artist Carl Joe Williams created an interactive piece that was inspired by local prison reform activist, Dolfinette Martin.

"You get a chance to hear in her own words what she's been through," explains Williams. "We need to really think about how the system actually works and what it does to dehumanize and traumatize and send them back on the street."

The exhibition addresses the issue of re-entry and how these women face specific challenges when they are released.

It's all in an effort to raise awareness and to inspire second chances.

This is the first in a series of three exhibitions that look at the issue of mass incarceration.

Per(sister) will be at Museum until July 6th and is free to the public.

Click here for more information.

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