Incorrigibles: Bearing Witness to the Incarcerated Girls of New York advocates for youth justice through exploration and education of 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 is open until Sept. 9 with free public programs throughout the summer.
Cynthia Boykin, a Newburgh native who was sent to the Training School in the 1970s, instigated bringing the exhibition and public programs to Newburgh. 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.”
Wand-making: the craft of power reclamation, is a program initiated by the Incorrigibles project and artist Alison Cornyn. The program is an invitation to join an art-making space, a self-organized community project hearkening back to the sewing bee. It values interconnected creativity and promotes individual and collective responses to the feminist political and social struggles of today.
Each workshop has an energy of its own. In the process, people create and share techniques, as well as stories. A wide range of materials are provided (including those from the grounds of the Training School), and participants are invited to experiment and innovate. The workshop is introduced but not formally "led". Materials, time, and space are all provided to move beyond thinking and to make. We've encountered some skepticism about the simplicity and "craftiness" of the wand-making workshops. Still, each time participants have found it to be incredibly rewarding, moving, and thought-provoking, and that is why we continue to do it.
Funded by Newburgh, NY (August 2022)