Discovery of a New Talent Brings Hope for a Woman at MTC’s Lockhart Facility

Consistent with MTC’s efforts to provide a gender-specific approach to housing and rehabilitation, the Lockhart Correctional Facility, in Lockhart, Texas, is involved with the Truth be Told program, a nonprofit organization providing programming and support for incarcerated women.

Because of the program and caring staff, Kelly Nordick has made a breakthrough in her life. Her self-discovery included becoming an artist at the facility. At a recent Truth Be Told dinner, Kelly described her transformation:

Artist and author of letter to facilityI spent a lot of time in my adult life trying to cope with pain I didn’t know how to heal. My inability to heal myself led me to bad decisions, bad coping skills and bad relationships. These things led me to prison at Lockhart. 

During my time of incarceration, I discovered I had an artistic ability that I had never tapped into. I became a unit artist and got to spread my talent all over the walls of the prison. A small team of unit artists at Lockhart decorated the walls with positive quotes and beautiful pictures, including an entire aquarium mural in the visitation room. 

My talent specifically lies in capturing people. One specific project I was chosen for included a young child kissing a baby’s forehead at the entrance to the prison. I now know my best coping skill is art; it sends me into a place of tranquility and inner expression that I never had before. 

I tell people all the time that in prison you can use your time to grow and find the resources to change your life for the better, or you can let it drag you deeper into darkness. 

Truth Be Told made it possible for me to heal myself in places I needed healing and never knew how to heal it. My life is better now, and I attribute a lot of that to that class and the use of my art to express myself. I have reconnected with my children and even brought a new baby into the world.  My struggles to achieve this prior to prison always ended up fruitless because I was not ready as I thought I was. My internal change has now become my external reality.

Lockhart Warden Jennifer Brown (center) also attended the Truth Be Told event where Kelly’s paintings were for sale. Warden Brown, proud of Kelly and eager to share her story, purchased one of her paintings to display at the facility.People standing next to artists work