Art Beats Stigma

“Stigma is our biggest killer & a significant barrier to addressing addiction.”
— VADM Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H. , Surgeon General of the U.S.

The stigma of dealing with the effects of substance abuse and mental health issues can be just as daunting as the issues themselves. Stigma is even credited as a factor that contributes to the severity of the problem, and as an obstacle to recovery. As a part of Fulton County HOPE, we believe that art- in whatever form it takes- can change the conversation and be a bridge between those struggling with recovery, and the communities they might feel alienated from.

It is our goal to create an art project related to substance use and mental health issues, and are inviting creatives to help by putting their talents to the task. If you can sculpt, paint, write, dance, sing- or whatever- we can use your help. If your medium is digital art, video, photography, or something completely unique, we will be willing to accommodate your vision if you are willing to share it.

Individuals interested in participating are encouraged to produce their own work, or they can be paired with an artist who can bring their creative expressions to life. Art liaison Jessica Shafer will be enlisting a roster of professional artists who have enthusiastically volunteered to work on this project. These artists can be coaches, collaborators, editors, or contribute to the specific needs of the works in their various stages.

Initially, works will be unveiled and displayed at the Rochester Public Library (date TBD), and a few regional galleries have already expressed interest in exhibiting art that results from this project.

Memories of a Man

We chose the artist Brian J. Walsh to put a creative spin to the words, to help elaborate this beautiful story written by Jessica Green.

Recovery is different for everyone

Our next project was our first story shared in the fall by local Jake Richard. He told us his story of his recovery what keeps him on a straight path. The design was created by volunteer, Jessica Shafer. This is an 11x14" print. Recovery is different for everyone.


"Here is my finished community art project - this is a painting of Rebekah Erb. I was inspired by her video post where she told her story. This painting is very much about opening up and allowing oneself to be vulnerable. Being open to showing vulnerability is actually a sign of confidence." - Erica Coffing


Mixed media painting using upcycled materials on a 24" x 36" stretched canvas. Spray paint, acrylic, glow in the dark spray paint, glow in the dark acrylic, stenciling and polyurethane spray. This piece is a special piece developed for a community project in Rochester, Indiana meant to inspire conversation about mental health and addiction. Through discussions with family members of people struggling with their mental health and/or addiction as well as my own experiences with friends and family,

art intro

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If you'd like to volunteer, contact:

Pat Brown | | Call/text: (260) 417-1071

Jessica Shafer | | Call/Text: (574) 780-6144