"Emma, I promise to paint your portrait if you promise to go to rehab." -- William Stoehr
My sister Emma died from an opiate overdose on October 2, 2012. She was 57 years old and struggled with drugs and alcohol for most of her life. I tell myself that it was not suicide but rather an accidental overdose washed down with a quart of vodka. I promised her that I would paint her portrait if she went to rehab. I did and she did, but she relapsed five years later. Now she is gone and so this is the best I can do.
Stigma suffocates discussion, blocks action, causes pain. I want to use my art to normalize the discussion and to help erase the stigma. My sister OD’d but, maybe to the millions affected, I can be part of a solution. Stigma is the place to start.
Of course, it is never just one person that is impacted, and it is never simply an isolated instance. I want these paintings, along with associated presentations and discussions to start conversations, to cause people to respond and maybe feel the emotion and ultimately to take action before it is too late - to be part of the solution.
View video of the panel discussion on opening night, featuring artist William Stoehr, Dr. Nora Volkow, Director, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Rober Valuck, PhD, RPh, Scaggs School of Pharmacy and Curator Simon Zalkind.
Read the Exhibition Catalog
View the 4-minute film, "Breaking Down the Stigma of Addiction: A Witnesses' Testimony Through Art."
Learn more about William Stoehr>>
DUE TO COVID PRECAUTIONS,
THE GALLERY IS ONLY OPEN TO CURRENT, BADGED CU ANSCHUTZ STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF.
Art Gallery at the Fulginiti Pavilion.
13080 E. 19th Ave. Aurora, CO 80045
Hours: Monday-Friday from 9:00am-5:00pm
Banner: Destiny 15, Britain 6, Laine 5, 80 x 60 in. each, acrylic on canvas