The opioid crisis is one of the most serious problems that need an immediate solution in the United States. So many people have died due to opioid overdose. But aside from the lives lost and wasted, opioid affects a person in so many affects, thus affecting the society. This drug is also capable of destroying families and relationships. This reality led the Currier Museum of Art in New Hampshire to create a program that uses art as a healing tool for those affected by the epidemic.
New Hampshire’s most populous city has a major drug problem, but the Currier Art Museum is here to help families affected by addiction. The Manchester museum’s education department created “The Art of Hope” program in partnership with Partnership for Drug Free Kids, to provide a safe space for relatives of those struggling with drug use to discuss methods of resilience, self-care, social connection, shame, and hope.
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Participants spend a few hours each week contemplating the museum’s collection and completing small art projects meant to provide coping mechanisms, and healing tools meant to mend broken relationships between families and their drug-using relatives.
The focus of each session varies, but most begin with an introspective look at paintings like the 18th-century French painter Claude-Joseph Vernet’s “The Storm” (1759). Educators choose works that can speak to the tempestuous nature of drug addiction and the collateral damage it can inflict on loved ones. Accordingly, Vernet’s painting depicts turbid waters and a shipwreck, with scrambling survivors dragging loved ones ashore and a gloomy mountain-bound fortress in the distance.