History Center Exhibition Aims To Change the Conversation About Drug Addiction
INTO LIGHT Project FLORIDA on display March 5 to April 15, 2022
Orange County, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2022) – In partnership with INTO LIGHT Project and the Orange County Drug-Free Office, the Orange County Regional History Center will host INTO LIGHT Project FLORIDA. The exhibition, which opens March 5, will feature 41 hand-drawn portraits by Theresa Clower, founder of INTO LIGHT Project, featuring people from across the state of Florida who have died due to Substance Use Disorder (SUD). The portraits are accompanied by stories of loved ones, signifying their lives were not defined by their addictions.
“I created INTO LIGHT in 2018 after my son Devin died from an overdose of fentanyl. I turned to portraiture as a way of dealing with my grief,” says Clower. “I became inspired by similar stories of addiction and began to draw portraits of others who had died, with the goal of telling their stories and starting a national dialogue about addiction.”
“Co-sponsoring this inspiring exhibition is part of Orange County Government’s ongoing efforts to address the opioid epidemic. Helping reduce the shame and stigma associated with substance use shows Mayor Demings’ commitment to prevention, treatment, and recovery from Substance Use Disorders in Orange County,” says Dr. Thomas Hall, Director of the Orange County Drug-Free Office.
With INTO LIGHT Project’s goal to organize exhibitions in each of the 50 states, Florida is the national nonprofit’s sixth exhibition to contribute to the project. SUD is an issue our Central Florida community has been working through for decades, and the exhibition will help foster conversations, understanding, and healing.
“The INTO LIGHT Project FLORIDA exhibition has catalyzed the History Center’s collecting initiative centered around Substance Use Disorder and the individuals whom it impacts, particularly through our oral history collection,” says Catherine Duffy, chief curator at Orange County Regional History Center. “Although the exhibition will close April 15, our collecting initiative will endure as our community continues to navigate the impacts of addiction.”