A 2018 project in Maryland’s Kent County humanizing the opioid epidemic’s impact.
Presented in partnership with the Kent Cultural Alliance (then known as the Kent County Arts Council), the exhibition featured art by seven artists whose works touch on a spectrum of experiences and perspectives related to emotional pain, substance use, and paths to healing. The project included public events on issues around addiction, sharing local resource information and offering communal conversation and healing.
Exhibiting artists included: Elisif Bruun, daughter of Peter Bruun, who died of a heroin overdose on February 11, 2014, and left behind a self-portrait completed just 20 days before her passing; Peter Bruun, exhibition curator and father of Elisif Bruun, who shows a watercolor drawing inspired by his daughter’s journey; Phylicia Ghee, a photographer and healing artist who presents and documents ritualistic performances rich in spiritual expression and sensory experience; Michelle Labonte, a Baltimore-based artist whose work documents her feelings, observations, and perspectives from living with debilitating depression and other related disorders; Mark V. Lord, a photographer whose 2016 photographs of individuals who saved lives by administering Naloxone to opioid overdose victims were featured in a Maryland statewide public awareness campaign; Anthony Ness, a person in recovery whose colorful hyper-realist art expresses his emotional journey through using and sobriety; and Sharon Strouse, an artist and art therapist who shares some of her collages created in her own therapeutic journey after her daughter’s death.
“Thank you for bringing us your work and the work of the amazing artists. All of the work touched many souls. I’m looking forward to touting this amazing work to the other counties and leaders across Maryland. Thank you so much for an experience of magic.”
—John Schratwieser, Executive Director, Kent Cultural Alliance
The event included the exhibiting artists, curator Peter Bruun, and a resource table with information about local healing, treatment, and recovery resources related to emotional wellness and behavioral health concerns.
ARTISTS & EXPERTS: A CONVERSATION
An event that included several of the exhibiting artists and members of the Kent County Opioid Task Force to address matters raised by the exhibition: where the pain lies, what we do with that pain, and how we can make things better.
PHYLICIA GHEE: TRAUMA, ART & HEALING
Sponsored by the Prevention, Education, Advocacy Center (PEAC) at Washington College, the event featured a communal healing experience led by artist Phylicia Ghee with the purpose of addressing trauma head-on through spiritual, communal, and ritualistic healing.
SHARING/INFORMING/HEALING: AN OPEN-MIC EXPERIENCE
A program of sharing from those who wished to lend their voices to a communal healing experience. The event included resource information and a family art activity. Following the event, all were invited for a closing reception to the exhibition and informal conversation on outcomes and next steps.
INTERESTED IN CONNECTING?
Do you have ideas, thoughts, or questions you’d like to share with Peter? Do you want to introduce yourself and your work to him? Perhaps explore a collaboration or involvement in one of his projects? Then Peter wants to hear from you.