By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – The Downriver Council for the Arts hosts Collective Healing Through Art until Sept. 18 with an Overdose Awareness exhibit at the DeSana Center for Arts and Culture, 81 Chestnut St.
It features the work of artists whose lives have been impacted by substance use disorder and overdose, and in doing so, hopes to raise awareness of overdose risk while promoting the disease nature of addiction and working to eliminate its stigma.
Erin Suess, executive director for the Downriver Council for the Arts, said she was contacted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, who were contacted by Vital Strategies, a public health organization, to do this project.
“They weren’t exactly sure how it looked or what to do, so I put together a proposal about what we could do here, Downriver, and just went from there,” she said. “It just kind of snowballed from there, and it turned into a big thing.”
Suess said many of the participating artists are in recovery, and the DCA found them through counselors and social workers.
“It was an unusual challenge,” she said. “I jumped at the chance to be involved in something like this.”
She said the exhibit is very meaningful, and reflects the collectiveness of people with like experiences coming together.
“I really love the fact that we can provide this, for all these people to be together,” she said. “And people can express themselves, and tell their story, and get out what they want to say.”
For more information, go to downriverarts.org.