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A photography exhibit capturing art made by crime victims, the exonerated, and family members of both. Through art, HEALING JUSTICE strives to restore the voices of those harmed and provide them with individual healing.

Through March 2021 in Chagrin Arts Joan P. Wenk Gallery


Healing Justice Art Projects


The Masks We Wear: We all develop self-protective disguises at times to bury the pain, hide our vulnerable selves from the world, and protect ourselves from getting hurt again. These "masks" evolve from emotional injuries or traumas that occur throughout our lifetimes, and we sometimes wear them so long that we forget our true selves, that part of us that was whole before we were broken. Creating physical representations of our masks offers a safe way to express why we don these disguises in the first place and provides us the freedom to remove them and begin healing.

If You Could Walk in My Shoes: Journeys that involve deep trauma are complicated, often invisible, and usually cover many miles. During the steps taken on those journeys, much of what we dreamed of and hoped for becomes lost while, simultaneously, new and unexpected things are gained. This project creates a “view” from the walker’s shoes and thereby invites the outside world to better understand the experiences of those who have suffered—and overcome—unimaginable harm.

Our Story Stones: Rocks are often synonymous with burdens. Like the burdens we carry throughout our lives, rocks have both weight and meaning attached to them. This project asks the artist to think about their burdens as chapters in their life’s story: How much weight do they carry, and what do they express? As the participant begins to think in these ways, the stories unfold with color and words, allowing the artist to illustrate and reveal the journey from beginning to end.

The Lost and Found Box: When a person experiences long and complicated harm, such as trauma caused by a wrongful conviction, their hearts suffer many griefs and losses. But often these griefs and losses are accompanied by unexpected gifts, such as new friendships, loving memories, and emotional strength that would not otherwise have been discovered. This project asks the question, What did your heart lose? What did your heart find?



The Innocence Network features Jennifer Thompson, founder of Healing Justice and renowned author of “Picking Cotton” on International Wrongful Conviction Day. Learn about Healing Justice, her personal story, and the Freedon of Expression exhibit in the Chagrin Arts gallery.


"Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption" by Jennifer Thompson


The New York Times best selling true story of an unlikely friendship forged between a woman and the man she incorrectly identified as her rapist and sent to prison for 11 years.

Stop by Chagrin Arts throughout January to read the powerful stories of those impacted by wrongful incarceration.

Exhibit Samples


Evin was convicted of first-degree murder based on flawed forensic testimony, despite being excluded from all DNA evidence found at the crime scene. After many appeals and efforts to win his freedom, Evin was exonerated with support from the prosecutor after spending 22 years in prison. Venus was a young child when her father was wrongly convicted. The Healing Justice retreat was the first time she got to spend with her father outside of prison walls.

Art photography by Magali DeVulpillieres

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