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Art Exhibit Tells The Story Of Holmesburg Prison

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A local arts organization opens a new exhibit at Moore College of Art, today, that tells the story of Philadelphia’s infamous Holmesburg Prison.

Titled, “Doing Time | Depth of Surface,” Philagrafika commissioned Spanish artists Patricia Gomez Villaescusa and Maria Jesus Gonzalez to tell the story of the crumbling, more-than-a-century old Holmesburg.

“The prison walls were really infused with the secrets and desires of the people who live there,” say Gomez and Gonzalez (through an interpreter.)

The artists say they used a technique that used fabric to detach a layer of the prison’s wall, “We stuck the fabric on the wall with glue and we allowed it to dry. And when we tore it off the wall it brought down an image of the exact structure of the wall, including the ceiling. The skin of the cell is in the art exhibit.”

Gomez and Gonzalez say they felt it was important to accurately portray the stories of those who were confined in the prison.

“Even though it’s a building that’s associated with suffering, they felt that they had an obligation to bring out the innermost thoughts of the prisoners to the light and to the public.”

The exhibit is free and runs through March 17th. For more info, go to or

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  • Bob Houston

    Another waste of city money

  • Ted Pikul

    Were the walls also infused with the secrets and desires of the inmates’ victims?

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