The Center for Maine Craft presents an exhibition of new work from the Fine Woodworking Program of the Maine State Prison Outreach Program, September 5-29, 2019 in the Center Gallery.
The Maine State Prison Fine Woodworking Program is an outreach venture of the American Furniture Masters Institute, operating under the authority of the Maine Department of Corrections.
Founded by master woodworker Brian Reid in 2011, the Fine Woodworking Program takes place within the large Prison Industries woodshop at the prison in Warren, ME, where hundreds of items are also made for sale at the Prison Store in Thomaston, and on commission. With the enthusiastic support of the prison administration, the Fine Woodworking Program accepts up to12 inmates who show exceptional attitude and aptitude in the woodshop. The Program offers many benefits for inmates; incentive for good behavior, an outlet for creativity and a way to develop woodworking skills at a master level as well as interpersonal and disciplinary skills and a level of self-respect that could provide post-incarceration career opportunities.
The Fine Woodworking Program is modeled after the American Furniture Masters Institute’s (AFMI) Prison Outreach Program, and designed to be self-sustaining. As students build their fine woodworking skills, they are able to transfer these skills and knowledge to other inmates. Howard Hatch of Portland currently leads the Program; Brian Reid (Rockland) and Jeffrey Cooper (Portsmouth, NH) are secondary instructors.