REFLECT Gallery Show

Summoning the Courage to Share Our Stories

Find us Here

The Gallery | Mission Chattanooga
806 E 12th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403


Wednesday, August 23, 2023
9:00 AM- 3:00 PM EDT Monday - Thursday
9:00 AM - Noon EDT Sunday

REFLECT is a subject-artist collaborative project of acclaimed architectural photographer Trent Bell that spotlights people who have gone through life changing experiences. Visit the Gallery at Mission Chattanooga through October 23 to explore Trent's evocative large-scale portraits of people in prison with letters to their younger selves in the background.  #2XChances #REFLECT #YoungerSelf

Inmates Letters to their Younger Selves

Upon hearing the startling news that a friend – a well-educated professional, husband, and father of four – had been sentenced to thirty-six years in prison, acclaimed architectural photographer Trent Bell was deeply shaken. In the months that followed, Bell grappled not only with the ramifications of his friend’s choices and the profound loss of freedom, but also with personal reflections on moments in his own past that teetered on the edge of grave misjudgments.

“There were instances when my son would gaze up, offering a warm smile,” Bell shares, “and the weight of my friend’s irreversible fate would wash over me, evoking a stark realization: there, but for the grace of God, go I.”

Renowned for his architectural imagery in esteemed publications like Conde Nast Traveler, Design New England, and The New York Times, Bell soon envisioned a photographic project. This endeavor aimed to seamlessly blend large-scale portraits of inmates within the Maine prison system with their heartfelt, handwritten letters, as if addressing their younger selves.

“Our missteps can result in immeasurable loss, profound remorse, and lingering regret,” reflects Bell. “However, the silver lining of these mistakes becomes palpable when we confront them, accept responsibility, extract lessons, and summon the courage to share our stories.”

REFLECT: Convicts’ Letters to Their Younger Selves stands as a poignant testament to the nexus of choices, repercussions, and introspection. Complementing Bell’s evocative portraits are video contributions by Joe Carter and a series on prison guards captured by Corey Desrochers.

To delve deeper into this profound journey of redemption and reflection, please visit and stop by The Gallery at Mission Chattanooga. 

REFLECT | Behind the Scenes

Get a taste from this “behind the scenes” production of what’s in store for you when you attend REFLECT at The Gallery.