Flowers for Incarcerated Mothers

80% of women behind bars are mothers.

1/25 women in prison have given birth in shackles

1/10 will be abused in prison

75% are survivors of domestic violence

Women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population increasing at nearly double the rate of men since 1985. Over 50% of incarcerated women are housed in jails, which have significantly fewer services than prisons. Statistics provided by Operation Restoration in New Orleans. Please support their work!


Legendary sign painter, Mr. Walter from the 3rd Ward was commissioned to paint the porch of the (g)Row House

An extension of The Solitary Gardens, we are growing flowers on behalf of incarcerated mothers. Through the invitation of several formerly incarcerated women, we contacted over two dozen (and growing) incarcerated Moms. Many of them are serving life-sentences. Each incarcerated mother was sent a letter or Jpay (prison email) introducing the project with images and descriptions, anecdotal stories and healing qualities of the 12-kinds of flowers we are growing on their behalf. The descriptions we shared of the flowers are included on the placards visible below. These 12-flowers were chosen because of their unique ability to grow in New York, New Orleans, and Houston where we are growing gardens for the mom’s. Many of the mothers shared sweet and meaningful reasons they chose their flower with us, and with permission we share these treasured notes as part of the installation.


Installation shot at PRH 48, the growing beds mimic the language of a prison dorm room restructured to grow the flowers chosen by the incarcerated Mothers. Seed rack contains the same seeds for visitors to plant in their homes and gardens.

As part of Project Row House’s Round 48, artist jackie sumell transformed a row house into a (G)row House where viewers were encouraged to take starts or seeds grown in the installation to plant them in homes, gardens, businesses, — wherever. Grown were the same 10-flowers shared with the mothers. As part of the project, folks were asked to document the success and failure of their planted flowers and send images to We will share the images of flowers and location to all the moms who chose that flower using Flikshop, a prisoner support app that sends postcards. This way, these incarcerated moms can see themselves planted outside prison walls.

A Solitary Garden for Incarcerated Moms is being hosted by The Lower East Side Girls Club, and will be hosted as part of the (Per)sister Exhibition at Newcomb Museum.

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Click on the images below to read the flower descriptions shared with the Incarcerated Moms and see pictures of the (g)Row House.