Public Programs And Events

Beyond Addiction: Reframing Recovery - exhibition

April 6, 2019, 4:00 PM

Beyond Addiction: Reframing Recovery - exhibition

Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
General Public 

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.

Graham is a photographer and assistant professor at Parsons. Susan is a reporter and adjunct professor in the Journalism + Design department at Eugene Lang College/The New School. They have collaborated on projects combining interviews and photography, including exhibitions, talks, and a memoir documenting Graham’s addiction, incarceration, and recovery.

Contributing Artists: Nina Berman, Allan Clear, John Donadeo, Yannick Fornacciari, Tony Fouhse, Paul Gorman, John Linder, Luceo, Graham MacIndoe, Josh Meltzer, Jackie Neale, Neil Sneddon, and Susan Stellin.

Student Projects, supervised by Graham MacIndoe and Julia Gorton, assistant professor of communications at Parsons: Sara Akiki, Carly Bayroff, Scoutt Palframan, Ellie Plass, Josie Stevenson, and Lucy Xin.

Thanks to: Luke Hayman and Elyanna Blaser-Gould at Pentagram Design, Hashem Eaddy, The National, the Open Society Foundations' Global Drug Policy Program, and everyone who worked with the artists and shared their stories.

Curated by: Graham MacIndoe and Susan Stellin

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Opening reception
Tuesday, April 9, 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the gallery

followed by a panel discussion
6:30-8:00 p.m.

RSVP here for the panel discussion

Panel discussion:

Art, Media, Research, and Advocacy: What Shapes Public Opinion and Drug Policy?
Part of the Open Society Foundations' Dialogues on Drug Policy series at The New School

Drug use and addiction have long been treated as a crime in the U.S., but with record numbers of people dying of overdoses and legally prescribed medications implicated in many of those deaths attitudes are beginning to shift. Yet decades of media coverage and laws reflecting a drug war mentality may take longer to change. 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.

Moderated by: Susan Stellin, MPH - Reporter, researcher, and adjunct professor of Journalism + Design, The New School


Graham MacIndoe, Photographer and assistant professor of Photography at Parsons 

Tracie Gardner, Vice President of Policy Advocacy, Legal Action Center

Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, PhD, Principal Investigator and Deputy Director, Institute of Infectious Disease Research., National Development Research Institutes, Inc.


Presented by Parsons School of Design

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