This October, the Gallery at the Park presents an exciting new 2D and 3D exhibition, featuring beautiful watercolor paintings by artist Maja Shaw and creative beaded jewelry made through the Beads Behind Bars program.

Lucy Dole, a jewelry artist, started the Allied Arts Association’s Beads Behind Bars youth outreach program in 2008. Every Sunday afternoon, she teaches beading classes to eligible youth incarcerated in the Benton-Franklin Juvenile Detention Center.

Over the last 15 years, Beads Behind Bars has become a fixture in the Detention Center. The program receives enthusiastic support and encouragement from the Detention Staff for providing youth with the opportunity to express their artistic talents. Staff members say the youth try to keep up their good behavior so they will be eligible to attend classes.

By participating in Beads Behind Bars, youth are given the opportunity to experience a greater sense of their own value and worth. They can express their creativity and see the end result of their good choices in designing jewelry pieces, hopefully leading them to value themselves more and continue to make good choices in the future.

The youth can keep their work for when they are released or to give to visitors. However, they have chosen to share the pieces in this exhibition as a thank you for the efforts to provide the class each week. There is a number on each piece to protect their identities while also allowing family and friends to identify their work.

Beads Behind Bars has flourished, thanks to support from organizations such as Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities, 3 Rivers Community Foundation, Kiwanis, and Rotary Club of Pasco-Kennewick.

The 2D section of October’s exhibition comes from an experienced watercolor artist, Maja Shaw. Shaw received a BFA from the University of Washington and spent many years working in graphic design and teaching art classes before focusing on watercolor painting. She is a founding member of the Mid-Columbia Watercolor Society.

Shaw’s recent works include cut paper collages made up of paintings she has repurposed into new images. Unlike many collage artists, Shaw is precise with her colors and shapes. Her organizational style reflects her graphic design background, while the watercolor adds unpredictable elements.

Most of Shaw’s work consists of recognizable subjects and places. She looks for interesting perspectives and focuses more on a feeling than on minute details. Some of her compositions lend themselves to metaphors, but Shaw’s main goal is for the viewer to enjoy the beauty of colors and shapes based on the world around us.

See more of Maja Shaw’s work on her website:

This exhibition will be on display at the Gallery from October 3 – 28.

The artist reception will take place on Friday, October 6, from 6 – 8pm.

The Gallery at the Park is located at 89 Lee Boulevard in Richland and at The Gallery’s hours are Tuesday–Thursday, 12 – 4pm, and Friday and Saturday from 10am – 5pm.