In 2004 Mary Muller began teaching art lessons at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville, 20 miles east of Des Moines. Her goal was to find among the inmates women who had the talent and the drive to develop an expression of art to be relied upon for future income and personal development upon leaving the prison.

There is no question that creativity helps to build a more positive self image and greater confidence in accomplishment. It has been proven that this type of endeavor leads to very positive life changes. Muller felt it was important to continue this valuable enrichment. Therefore, she recruited other artists to replace her as the demands of her own work made it impossible for her to continue. The new artists volunteering their time in order to continue the program in Mitchellville include Sus Sweitzer, Penny Sullivan, and Joan Broek.

Original art work by the inmates is continuously available for viewing and purchase at The Polk County Courthouse at 5th & Mulberry in Des Moines, IA. Be sure to check the Exhibits link frequently for other ongoing exhibits featuring artwork from the ICIW Inmate Art Program. Please feel free to email Muller at if you are interested in receiving specific notifications from the instructors regarding the Inmate Art Program.

Note Cards printed with the images of the women's art are available for sale. The proceeds from the sale of these cards help pay for the art supplies for the classes. For more information or to purchase notecards, click on the IAP Notecards link.

Muller continues to provide their art supplies. We currently are not affiliated wth any non-profit organization in order to accept tax deductible donations.