As printed in the Post-Journal on 9/16/21
Twenty-two pieces of art were on display at the recent Art of Recovery Exhibit presented by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County (MHA).
The event was held in St. Luke’s undercroft in downtown Jamestown on Aug. 28 to raise awareness for International Overdose Awareness Day, Aug. 31.
The local artists who shared how they celebrate their own creativity and recovery included Carriee Clark, Nicole Crawford, Roseann Crocker, Lindsey Erickson, Melita Lyon, Joanne Porterfield, and Joseph Scoma. Mayor Eddie Sundquist was among the more than 60 people who attended the show. Light refreshments and “mocktails” (non-alcoholic cocktails) were served.
The show was coordinated by Sean Jones of the MHA and Jessica Frederick of St. Luke’s. They were also responsible for the art installation of ribbons in the church sanctuary that represented the people in recovery, ones still using substances, and those who passed over the past year from an overdose.
This Art of Recovery event developed while St. Luke’s and the MHA were preparing to observe their second annual Recovery Sunday on August 29. Because art and spirituality can go hand-in-hand — as both create space for transcendence, creativity, self-reflection, and community building — it seemed appropriate to add an art exhibit to the weekend’s events.
Steven Cobb, MHA executive director, delivered the sermon at St. Luke’s on August 29. The service honored all those who lost their lives to drug overdose in Chautauqua County over this past year by lighting candles and tolling bells while reading their names.
The art remained available for viewing before and after the service.
Following the service, MHA staff led a NARCAN training. Narcan is the brand name for naloxone, a safe, easily administered medication that has saved hundreds of lives in Chautauqua County from possible opioid overdose. Narcan can be obtained free from the MHA.
With programs in both Jamestown and Dunkirk, the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County is a peer recovery center offering support groups and individual coaching for people looking to improve their lives, deepen wellness, thrive in recovery, or support those on a recovery path. Peers use their personal stories to help people find recovery in their own lives in their own way.
All Mental Health Association services are free.
To learn more about the Mental Health Association, call 661-9044 or visit MHAChautauqua.org or Facebook.com/MHAChautauqua.