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MMC Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the BHCP with a Collaborative Art Exhibition

The Moby-Dick Project provides a unique opportunity for incarcerated women artists to exhibit alongside invited artists on a shared theme, in a professional gallery setting

On Thursday, November 2, 2017, Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) will celebrate the opening of The Moby-Dick Project, a unique exhibition of artworks based on Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, by Herman Melville, and created by the incarcerated women artists of the Bedford Hills College Program (BHCP) after participating in “Illustrating the Novel,” a course taught by professor and artist Duston Spear. Their artwork will be featured alongside pieces by invited artists whose work shares an affinity with the great American novel. Themes of obsession, cultural identity, communication across space, time, and species, and the embrace of the sea will be the subjects of interpretation.

The Opening Reception will include a special, one-night-only display of additional BHCP student work (including academic writings and poetry) and a film about the history of the program.

The Moby-Dick Project is curated by MMC Professor of Art and Director of the Hewitt Gallery, Hallie Cohen, and Professor Duston Spear. The exhibition is a recipient of the 2017 New York Foundation for the Arts Opportunity Grant and will run from October 30 – December 6, 2017. 

WHAT:            The Moby-Dick Project Opening Reception

WHERE:          Hewitt Gallery of Art
                        Marymount Manhattan College
                        221 East 71st Street
                        New York, NY 10021 

WHEN:           Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 6-8pm



Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women is New York State’s only maximum-security prison for women. This year, MMC celebrates twenty years of granting degrees through the BHCP. Since 1997, women incarcerated at the facility have been able to pursue the Associate of Arts degree in Social Sciences and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. MMC is the sole degree-granting institution of the BHCP, which also includes college-preparatory courses in writing and math.10/1/2017

As with all education programs for people within the prison system, the BHCP remains the single most effective tool for decreasing the likelihood of a return to prison. The recidivism rate among released BHCP graduates is virtually zero, as compared with the national average of 43.9 percent for women.

Published: October 01, 2017