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The Chrysler Museum Presents Works from Local Inmates

The exhibition will showcase works from inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center

NORFOLK, VA. (Oct. 3, 2017) – The Chrysler Museum of Art and the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office partner to present Beyond the Block: An Art Exhibition Created by Inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center. The exhibition will be on view Oct. 17 – Nov. 26 and include works that respond to objects in the Chrysler Museum’s collection as well as works that reflect the inmates’ lives and experiences. “We decided to name the exhibition Beyond the Block because we want to highlight the notion that this work is on view outside of the jail. This is a rare chance for people who are incarcerated to creatively express themselves beyond the confinement of their detention, and it is an opportunity for the general public to connect with people who are incarcerated,” said Chrysler Museum Community Engagement Manager Michael Berlucchi.

Berlucchi pursued the idea for the exhibition after learning that many inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center are gifted artists. Despite security measures that prohibit the use of most art supplies, inmates create impressive works using pens designed especially for those in high-security environments. They incorporate color with candy and other items available to them.

Virginia Beach Sherriff Ken Stolle is amazed by the talent of the inmates and thanks the Chrysler Museum for showcasing their work. “I believe art can aide in offenders’ rehabilitation as they work through the mistakes of their past and look forward to their future. We hope that their future is as productive members of our community. Most people have no idea what it’s like to be behind bars or have a loved one who’s locked up. I hope this exhibit can give our community a better understanding of this aspect of our criminal justice system and humanize the people in our jail and jails throughout the region,” Stolle said.  

The Virginia Beach Correctional Center houses nearly 1,400 inmates and is run by the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office is committed to the welfare and rehabilitation of the inmates and offers a variety of programs for them including GED, Substance Abuse, Life Empowerment, Alternative Sentencing and Reentry programs. “Beyond the Block is an example of the courtesy and care that public safety officials and law enforcement professionals, especially Virginia Beach Sheriff’s deputies, extend toward inmates. They truly care about their well-being and their futures,” Berlucchi said.

Some inmates use art to express their emotions and share their experiences in a productive way. “Art can be therapeutic and transformative, both for the viewer and the person who created it.  We hope this exhibition will inspire and empower inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center by showcasing their talent and ideas to the public.  We also hope that, through this work, Museum audiences will have an opportunity to learn more about people who are incarcerated,” Berlucchi said.

Approximately 85 percent of the inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center are held on felony charges and 15 percent on misdemeanor charges. Jails in Virginia are designed to hold offenders who are to be incarcerated for one year or less.  The average length of stay at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center is 23 days for men and 14 days for women. However, due to overcrowding in the state prison system, people in Virginia Beach sentenced to five years or less are likely to serve the entirety of their time in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.



Opening Reception

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

6 p.m. ? Free for members, $5 for all others

See impressive works created by inmates of the Virginia Beach Correctional Center during the opening reception. Chrysler Museum of Art Director Erik Neil and Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle will offer remarks during the opening reception.




The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, with a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. The core of the Chrysler’s collection comes from Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., an avid art collector who donated thousands of objects from his private collection to the Museum. In the years since Chrysler’s death in 1988, the Museum has dramatically enhanced its collection and extended its ties with the Norfolk community. The Museum, expanded in 2014 to add additional gallery spaces and amenities for visitors, now has growing collections in many areas. The Chrysler also mounts an ambitious schedule of exhibitions and educational programs and events each season.

In 2011, the Chrysler opened the Perry Glass Studio adjacent to the Museum. This state-of-art, working facility offers programming for aspiring and master artists alike in a variety of processes including glassblowing, fusing, flameworking, coldworking, and neon. The Studio also has earned a reputation for its cutting-edge performance evenings that mix live glassmaking with visual, musical, culinary, and performing arts. The Perry Glass Studio recently was the site of the prestigious 2017 Glass Art Society Conference.

In addition, the Chrysler Museum of Art administers two historic houses in downtown Norfolk: the Moses Myers House and the Willoughby-Baylor House.

The Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, and its Perry Glass Studio at 745 Duke St., are open to the public Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The Historic Houses on East Freemason Street are open weekends. General admission is free at all venues. For more information on the Chrysler Museum of Art, visit

Contact Amber Kennedy
(757) 340-7425

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