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‘How the Light Gets In’ exhibition to highlight words of women who were incarcerated

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Texts written by women who were incarcerated will be featured in an interactive art installation across multiple Lawrence sites next month.

“How the Light Gets In” will share writings of women who participated in reentry creative workshops. Works will be on display in both the Spencer Museum of Art and the Lawrence Public Library starting Nov. 3, according to a KU news release.

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“Printers in each space will continuously print out statements by these women that visitors can read and take with them,” according to the release. “Visitors are also invited to share their experiences by responding to prompts on laptops in both spaces, which will also be sent to the printers’ queues. Informed by the wisdom of the women in this program as well as of the audience, this exhibition encourages viewers to approach others with compassion, curiosity and humility.”

The immersive installation was created by artist Sarah Newman in collaboration with Hyunjin Seo and the KU Center for Digital Inclusion in the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

Newman and Seo collaborated with the women to create conversation about the structural barriers and societal biases that they experience, according to the release.

“The work is intended to invert and complicate the normal expectations of knowledge in society,” Newman said in the release. “Who holds knowledge and wisdom, and who is situated to teach or transmit that knowledge to others?”

The exhibition will be on view from Thursday, Nov. 3 through Saturday, Jan. 28.

There is some related programming planned, according to the release:

• 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3: An opening reception for the exhibition will include project participants and Newman. That will be hosted at the Spencer Museum of Art.
• 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30: Spencer Museum staff will lead a printmaking activity in the Library’s Teen Zone inspired by the writings of project participants.
• 10:15 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 8: Spencer Curator Joey Orr will discuss themes in the art installation.

The art installation and related programs are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, the Mellon Foundation and the Linda Inman Bailey Exhibitions Fund, according to the release.

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