Art exhibit aims to remove the stigma of addiction

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 6:08 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A new art exhibit at UW Health called “Facing Addiction” aims to show people that you cannot tell what someone is going through just by looking at their face.

The exhibit is portraits of 20 different people lined up on the wall. They are all drawn in a different color. Artist Paul Smith is a recovering addict himself. The project was very personal for him.

“Recovery is a very personal thing. It’s an issue that we’re trying hard to overcome something that is a killer, a fatal disease. people die from addiction every day. It should be treated with the same serious level of understanding which is what we’re trying to do here,” Smith said.

Some of the people in the portraits are recovering addicts, but some are not. Smith hopes the exhibit allows people to educate themselves on the complexities of addiction.

“This is a disease condition. This isn’t just a series of bad moral decisions and that’s what they come into the treatment center with. We’re trying to disjoint that idea from them and get them better educated on what addiction is,” Smith said.

The portraits are for sale, framed originals are $500 and unframed prints are $150. All the money raised goes back to Chandra’s House of Hope, an addiction recovery facility for women in Madison. If you are interested in purchasing a portrait or print contact Mandy Kron, Art Coordinator at UW Health, or 608-263-5992.

The exhibit is up at UW Health until July 28. The hospital is not allowing extra visitors, if you have an appointment you can check it out in person. If not, you can see the work on Paul’s portfolio website.

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