Nevada State Prison inmates got a chance to mingle with the public Tuesday for the first arts and crafts show at the prison.
Six inmates sat outside on prison grounds selling leather products, rock carvings, paintings and crochet items they had made while serving time.
Inmate Steve Olauson was selling leather products he had carved and painted.
After 24 years in prison, Olauson said he was enjoying interacting with people outside prison walls.
"We live in an environment were there are no kids," he said. "It's nice to see kids."
James Baca, associate warden of programs for the prison, said the crafts fair would benefit the inmates by giving them a chance to see what life is like outside prison walls.
It will also benefit the public, he said.
"It's part of our community," he said. "We want them to know what's going on."
A percentage of the proceeds made during the crafts fair will be donated to Empire elementary school. The rest will go to the inmates so they can buy the supplies needed for their crafts.
Baca said they were hoping to raise more than $1,000 for the school.
Inmate Michael "Hook" Doyle said he was happy to donate money to the school. Doyle has been making leather crafts for 20 years while he has been in prison. He said he teaches the craft to other inmates.
"It occupies our time and we get to create," Doyle said.
Doyle, Olauson, and Inmate Hector Castellon are making leather backpacks for the children at Empire elementary school with 200 pounds of donated leather.
Baca said normal security precautions were taken to keep the public safe.
Carson City resident Ruth Slicko said she was enjoying the crafts fair. She said the paintings were the most interesting because they were probably made from memory.
Laura and Chester Byars came to the craft fair to buy a birthday present,
and they found plenty of things they liked.
"You can't find this stuff at Wal-mart," Laura Byars said.
The prison arts and craft fair will continue today.
IF YOU GO:
What: Prison arts and craft fair
Where: Nevada State Prison, 3301 E. Fifth St.
When: Today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.