September 24, 2022

Former-prisoner-turned-artist Work at Essex Library

Rebirth Among Chaos by Lynda Gardner. Her work will be on display at the Essex Library, March 2 through the 31.

Artist Lynda Gardner was released from prison in October 2009 after serving a sentence related to a gambling addiction.  Since her release, she has devoted herself to her artwork – spending hours every day on her detailed pen and ink drawings – and to speaking to others about her life experience. Her work  will be on display at the Essex Library,  March 2nd through the 31st.

Lynda Gardner began drawing in a Community Partners in Action Prison Arts Program class in 2006.  Her first exhibition was that year’s Prison Arts Program Annual Show.  Her works are primarily black and white intricate drawings on paper, with an occasional use of color.  They are explosive and obsessive drawings: birds swarming, their wings growing larger, wings growing new wings, wings protecting children, wings hiding women’s faces, while trees are growing and horses are charging.

“When I was young, I used to pretend I could fly away and escape the dangers of my life,” says Lynda.  “I think those birds and wings are protecting others, especially children, from what I went through as a child.  The birds are the protectors.  The horse is a burst of energy, a way to freedom.  I think I am that horse now.  I was able to break free from the past.”

This exhibition at the Essex Library is traveling to libraries throughout the State – sponsored by the CPA Prison Arts Program. The show is free and open to all during regular operating hours.