Art Illustrates Battle Many Face with Drug Addiction

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

Faces of addiction were on full display in North Tonawanda at the Project 301 Gallery on Oliver Street.

Here, fourteen artists who have been afflicted by addiction put their artwork up for all to see. It’s called Nartcan.

Organizer says the artwork was a way for people to cope with addiction.

“We have a nice mix of artwork that all can enjoy,” said Natalie Brown, Studio Owner. “There is some acrylic on canvas’, oil paintings, and even a piece where they actually used piece of film and lit it up with a backdrop. We have an original photo of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Overall, just a really nice variety of things.”

Accompanying each piece of art there is a story about the artists and the struggle they faced. Organizers say artwork help with addition and a host of other problems.

“Creating artwork helps a lot people who are affected by addiction, said Brown. “Honestly, it helps with any problem that you might have. It is very therapeutic and it helps get you through things.”



The unique images capture the pain and struggle of addition.

Hidden in each piece is a story about whether the addiction was overcome or whether it was too much for the individual to handle.

It is a show they hope will help to educate the community of North Tonawanda about the dangers of drug use.

“The reason I came up with the idea,” said Justin Chase, Curator, “is because I have been working with people suffering with addiction for many years. When people come in for rehabilitation there is very few things they can do. They do not have their phones with them. There are no computers or books, which is necessary because their main focus needs to be on recovery. But, one of the things they can do is draw and make artwork.”

The show is free and the artwork will be on display for the next three weeks.

The art studio is located at 308 Oliver Street in North Tonawanda.

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