Kennedy cousin Skakel turns to art in prison

April 26, 2008 4:24:16 PM PDT
Michael Skakel says the art he is creating in prison is helping him cope with everyday life, and he's using his drawings as a way to communicate with family and friends. His works and other prisoner art go on display at a Hartford, Connecticut community college next week, part of a program that brings artists into state prisons to work with inmates and seeks to raise public awareness about prisoners.

Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, is serving 20 years to life for the 1975 killing of neighbor Martha Moxley in Greenwich. He was convicted in 2002, but he maintains his innocence and is appealing.

Skakel tells The Associated Press that art is a way for him to express his love and creativity, and it conveys his spiritual belief in God.

One of his drawings that will be displayed next week is of his nine-year-old son, George. Another is a comic strip about the loss of innocence.

The art program is run by the nonprofit group Community Partners in Action and costs about $100,000 a year. State and private foundations pay for it.