Curated by Graham MacIndoe & Susan Stellin
April 6-21, 2019
Gallery hours: Open daily 12:00–6:00 p.m. and Thurs. until 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 9th: Opening reception : 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Panel discussion: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Parsons School of Design, The New School
66 Fifth Ave. @ 13th St., New York City
There are about 23 million people in the United States who have successfully resolved a problem with drugs or alcohol, but we rarely see or hear their stories compared to depictions of addiction in media, art, music, and film. Although not everyone identifies as being “in recovery” and many people can’t publicly acknowledge their past because of stigma or the consequences of admitting illegal drug use, a growing movement is working to offer examples of success and hope to those still struggling with addiction.
The goal of this exhibit is not just to show that recovery is possible, but also to highlight some of the ways people have rebuilt their lives: reconnecting with their families, finding rewarding work, developing meaningful relationships with partners, peers, and others who offer support. We also wanted to feature some of the treatment providers and harm reduction services that many people rely on, often at times when they feel isolated and overwhelmed. Recovery is rarely a solo journey and it usually involves setbacks and hurdles, but the more we talk about it, share ideas, and embrace different paths, the more people will find their way.
vice president of policy advocacy, Legal Action Center, and Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, principal Investigator and deputy director, Institute of Infectious Disease Research National Development Research Institutes, Inc. The program is part of the Open Society Foundation’s Dialogue on Drug Policy series at The New School and will be moderated by Susan Stellin . Panelists will discuss how art, media, research, and advocacy can influence how we respond to problematic drug use—through treatment, harm reduction, and other services—and help people rebuild their lives after addiction.
Contributing Artists: Nina Berman, Allan Clear, John Donadeo, Yannick Fornacciari, Tony Fouhse, Paul Gorman, John Linder, Luceo, Graham MacIndoe, Josh Meltzer, Jackie Neal, Neil Sneddon, and Susan Stellin.
Student Projects, supervised by Graham MacIndoe and Julia Gorton, assistant professor of communications at The New School: Sara Akiki, Carly Bayroff, Scouts Palframan, Ellie Plass, Josie Stevenson, and Lucy Xin.
Graham MacIndoe is a photographer and assistant professor at Parsons and Susan Stellin is a reporter and adjunct professor in the Journalism + Design department at The New School who recently completed a master’s in public health at Columbia University. They have collaborated on various projects combining interviews and photography, including exhibitions, talks, and a memoir documenting Graham’s addiction, incarceration, and recovery.
Many of the contributing artists in this exhibition have personal experience with addiction and recovery, while others have worked closely with the people whose stories they documented through long-term collaborative projects.
Portraits and interviews with people navigating life after addiction and incarceration, from a larger series documenting stories of recovery.
Nina Berman: An autobiography of Miss Wish
A multi-dimensional collaborative work focusing on the story of one woman and the intersection of sexual trauma, mental illness, addiction, and recovery.
Allan Clear: Lower East Side Needle Exchange
Photos of people, events, activism, and art from this community center at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s.
John Donadeo: Family Ties
Portraits of John’s extended family and friends exploring the socioeconomic and familial factors that impact addiction and recovery.
Yannick Fornacciari: Heroin Days
Images and text juxtaposing Yannick’s first day on methadone with how he felt after a year of treatment.
Tony Fouhse: Live Through This
Photos of a young woman Tony met who asked for help getting into a rehab program, which enabled her to escape life on the street.
Paul Gorman: Rip and Run
Spoken word pieces and images commenting on Paul’s past drug use and his life now in recovery.
John Linder: Art Therapy
Artwork John created in a program that helps participants use art as part of a therapeutic process to address drug and alcohol problems.
Luceo: Harm Reductionists
Photos of supporters of the harm reduction movement paired with handwritten responses to question prompts.
Graham MacIndoe: Thank You for Sharing
Instagram and Facebook posts reflecting on Graham’s addiction, incarceration, and recovery, which have inspired others to share their experiences as well.
Josh Meltzer: Dopesick—Agents of Change
Portraits of treatment providers, healthcare workers, activists, and counselors shot for Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, by Beth Macy.
Jackie Neale: Common Ground Tacony
A cyanotype portrait banner of Richard, who tends to a garden in the Tacony neighborhood of North Philadelphia as part of his recovery from addiction.
Neil Sneddon: Developing Recovery
Photos taken by clients Neil asked to document the people, places, and things they identified as meaningful for their recovery.
Lucy Xin & Josie Stevenson: Responding to Recovery
An interactive experience inviting visitors to respond to open-ended questions about what recovery means to them by writing their thoughts on wall panels and postcards.
Carly Bayroff & Scoutt Palframan: Not Just a Label
An animated projection that replaces derogatory terms associated with people who use drugs with positive identities, to show that no one should be defined by negative labels.
Ellie Plass: Harm Reduction at The New School
An interview addressing student substance use, addiction, harm reduction services, and rehabilitation based on insight from those who have direct experience with this issue.
Sara Akiki: Recovery in Perspective
A project that uses stenciling to reframe our notion of recovery by allowing viewers to re-evaluate the world from a different perspective.
Thanks to: Luke Hayman and Elyanna Blaser-Gould at Pentagram Design, Hashem Eaddy, The National, and everyone who worked with the artists and shared their stories.