A free art show this weekend hopes to get people talking about addiction issues. The Recovery Art Show at Tallgrass features pieces of art from talented members of the community. The goal is to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and get people to share their experiences.
More than 50 pieces of art will be on display this weekend at Tallgrass including this painting by Kristyn Mensink.
“My life was a tornado of addiction. I started drinking when I was 14 and it escalated into sex addiction after that,” Mensink said.
Mensink sought out help and now sees a bright future on the horizon.
“I never knew how happy I could be. The 12-step program that I’m in has just brought me such joy and made me aware of just how worthy I am,” Mensink said.
Getting people to discuss their history with drug and alcohol addiction, whether it’s their own or somebody they know, is the point behind the Recovery Art Show created by Joan Zephier at Tallgrass.
“Most of them are just people who’ve been affected by the disease of addiction in some shape or form and want to tell that story. That is the biggest reason why this show is important,” Zephier said.
“I’m not a writer. I don’t journal and a lot of people are that way as well but they can express themselves in art,” Gentry said.
Jean Gentry from Brookings has been surrounded by family and friends battling alcoholism her entire life. Her artwork features a butterfly she saw recently with holes in its wings.
“Butterflies are often a symbol of recovery. You’re sort of like a caterpillar and you metamorphisize and become a beautiful butterfly. That’s usually not the case. We usually come out flawed and scarred,” Gentry said.
Gentry says she has her own addiction of trying to make everything perfect. The former art teacher is happy to be participating in the recovery show and hopes it provides healing.
“I left a lot of white space in front of the butterfly to represent the future. The unknown and whatever we want to make it to be,” Gentry said.
She says it’s all part of the journey of life.
The Recovery Art Show takes place from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday night at Tallgrass in Sioux Falls.