The Kent County Arts Council Presents a new Exhibition: “Heroin & Healing: How the Opioid Epidemic and Hurting Go Together.” The exhibit will be on view March 2-31, 2018 at the Vincent & Leslie Prince Raimond Arts Building, 101 Spring Avenue, Chestertown.
Join us on Friday, March 2, 2018 – during Downtown Chestertown First Friday – for the opening of the Kent County Arts Council’s (KCAC) next exhibition: “Heroin & Healing”, a New Day Campaign program curated by Peter Bruun of Bruun Studios.
Across the country stories of heroin and other opioid overdoses are leading the evening news. Young and old, black and white, rich and poor, the disease is an equal-opportunity killer. Peter Bruun created the New Day Campaign =around the concept of using the arts to help erase the stigma of addiction and helping families and communities begin to heal.
Prior to founding the New Day Campaign in 2015, Bruun served as founding Exhibitions Educator for The Park School of Baltimore from 2000-2005, pioneering a gallery program that put side-by-side works by local and national artists with art and objects from and by Park student and faculty. In 2005, seeking to expand his artistic, curatorial and social engagement reach to all of Baltimore, Bruun founded the non-profit organization Art on Purpose, dedicated to using art to bring people together around issues and ideas. In June 2010, Bruun stepped down as founding director of Art on Purpose to pursue full time his own social engagement studio practice under the aegis of Bruun Studios. Bruun founded the New Day Campaign in early 2015, following the death of his daughter Elisif from heroin addiction in 2014.
KCAC Director John Schratwieser met Bruun in Baltimore and attended a few New Day Campaign shows in 2015. He invited Bruun to come to Kent County and work with local practitioners, nonprofit and government service agencies, and Washington College to create an exhibition and program of related events to engage the community in a broader, more open conversation about addiction and healing through art.
The exhibition brings to Kent County works of art by seven artists whose art illuminate themes of the exhibition related to heroin and healing:
Elisif Bruun, daughter of Peter Bruun, died of a heroin overdose on February 11, 2014, leaving behind a precociously strong body of diverse artwork. The exhibition includes her last drawing: a self-portrait completed just 20 days before her passing.
Peter Bruun, exhibition curator and father of Elisif Bruun, is a long-time artist whose figurative abstract art carries layered narratives. The exhibition features a watercolor drawing inspired by his daughter’s journey that invokes the tension between desiring grounded wellness and an unsteady mind’s impulse toward self-destructive behaviors.
Phylicia Ghee is a photographer and healing artist who presents and documents ritualistic performances rich in spiritual expression and sensory experience. Phylicia, who was the Resident Healing Artist in the New Day Campaign’s 2015 inaugural season, will exhibit a video in the exhibition.
Michelle Labonte is a Baltimore-based artist whose work documents her feelings, observations, and perspectives from living with debilitating depression and other related disorders. The artist’s works in the exhibition offer an illuminating look inside the heart of someone hurting.
Mark V. Lord is a photographer whose 2016 photographs of individuals who saved lives by administering Naloxone to opioid overdose victims where featured in a 2017 Maryland statewide public awareness campaign. A selection of photographs from that project will be included in the exhibition.
Anthony Ness, who lives near Washington DC, is a person in recovery whose colorful hyper-realist art expresses his emotional journey through using and sobriety. Several of his works will be included in the exhibition.
Sharon Strouse is an artist and art therapist. Since the passing of her daughter, Kristin Rita Strouse, from suicide in 2001, Sharon has immersed herself in healing from grief. The author of Artful Grief and a nationally known presenter in art therapy and recovery from grief, Sharon will share some of her own collages created in her own therapeutic journey after Kristin’s death.
The Month-long show will feature five special events:
OPENING – First Friday, March 2, from 4 – 7 p.m. Raimond Arts Building
GALLERY TALK – Saturday, March 3, from 2 – 4 p.m. Join Peter Bruun and other artists featured in the show for a conversation about their works. Raimond Arts Building.
TRAUMA, ART & HEALING – Sunday, March 4, from 2 – 4:30 p.m. Led by healing artists Phylicia Ghee and Peter Bruun, a community conversation followed by a healing experience workshop. Hynson Lounge, Washington College
Healing Workshop is FREE, but space is limited.
FILM & DISCUSSION – Friday, March 30, 7 p.m.,A screening of a 36-minute long video version of an art installation created by Peter Bruun about the life and passing of his daughter, followed by a public discussion with the artist and curator about his piece and the founding of the New Day Campaign. Norman James Theater, Washington College
OPEN MIC & CLOSING RECEPTION – Saturday, March 31. Open Mic – 3 – 5 p.m. Sharing/Informing/Healing: An Open-Mic Experience is a community-oriented event sharing a wide ranging spectrum of experiences and feelings related to the opioid epidemic specifically and addiction generally. Rich in fellowship and hope, the event features music, stories, open mic opportunities, resource information, and a special slideshow highlighting remembrances of those we have lost, expressions of gratitude for those who have been there for us, well-wishes for those who are hurting, and art of all kinds related to recovery, wellness, and hurting. Featuring Sombarkin’. Garfield Center for the Arts.
CLOSING RECEPTION Saturday, March 31. 5 – 7 p.m. Raimond Building.
The Kent County Arts Council and the New Day Campaign are proud to be working with multiple local partners/sponsors. They include: REACH: Prevention, Education, Advocacy Center at Washington College; Maryland Coalition of Families; Kent County Behavioral Health & the Opioid Intervention Team; Eastern Shore Psychological Services; Chester River Wellness Alliance; and Herbal Alchemy.
New Day Campaign www.newdaycampaign.org
Kent County Arts Council www.kentcountyartscouncil.org