Press release from Into Light:
INTO LIGHT a project that, through art, remembers those who have died from drug addiction, is currently accepting applications from families of those who have died from drug addiction in North Carolina. Interested persons are invited to visit intolightproject.org to apply. An exhibition of forty-one portraits of people who died from drug addiction and who lived or died in North Carolina is scheduled for October 19-November 20, 2020 at AB Tech Mission / AB Tech Conference Center Gallery. After the exhibition, the framed portraits are gifted to the families along with a catalogue that contains narratives about each person in the exhibition. There is no cost to the families.
INTO LIGHT, founded by Black Mountain resident, Theresa Clower, stems from the death of her son, Devin, to an accidental fentanyl overdose in February 2018. The simple approach of pencil to paper allowed Clower to visit with her son by lovingly and slowly drawing his portrait and, through that, she was able to pull myself out of the darkness of his death. That initial and powerful experience was the seed of the INTO LIGHT concept…through art, to remember and document those who died from drug addiction. It’s about connection, removing the stigma often accompanying addiction, community, education, and so much more.
INTO LIGHT was launched in Baltimore (where Devin died) October/November 2019. The exhibition of 41 framed portraits of people in the Greater Baltimore Area who had died from drug addiction hung in Gormley Gallery on the campus of Notre Dame of Maryland. Over 600 people came to visit the exhibition and every major television and radio station, including national public radio, covered the story. As a result of that exposure, an independent award-winning film producer has asked to create a short documentary about the project and will be following the process of the next exhibition.
INTO LIGHT has now become a national project with the vision of every state in the country hosting an exhibition of 41 more loved and lost portraits. Exhibitions are schedule for Pennsylvania (January 2021) and Ohio (March 2021). The amassed body of over 2,000 scanned drawings (the originals are gifted to the families) will form the basis for a national multi-media exhibition that will document the drug epidemic and put a human face on the statistics, much in the spirit of the AIDS Name Project.