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Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania creates a story of contrast. Opened in 1829, it was known for the ground-breaking radial design and impressive castle-like architecture usually reserved for Gothic fortresses throughout European history. The modern amenities and at times, ornate features, were in sharp opposition to the intended almost monastic style of confinement to help prisoners focus on personal reform instead of merely punishment.


When photographer, Tiffani Nieusma of Ligonier, first happened upon Eastern State Penitentiary in the fall of 2016 while exploring Philadelphia, she was struck by the unexpected beauty contained in the crumbling historic structure. The dancing light and shadows that help mask untold stories left a lasting impression on her soul. She endeavored to capture the feelings of that original impression of the formidable structure and tales of our past it holds.


In 2020, Mandy Sirofchuk of Main Exhibit Gallery & Art Center saw a partial album of Tiffani’s Eastern State photos and a plan was hatched! A show and a book of the same name will be coming in September 2021. This prospectus is a call for writers to provide their written impressions of the photos which will be reviewed for possible inclusion in the book. The show will be a celebration of the visual and written collaboration!


Background on the book, as well as writing submission guidelines with links to the images for writers is available at Radial Reform Show Information  ” The deadline is May 31, 2021. The Show opens September 1.

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