Into Light: Baltimore Exhibit Documents the Impact Addiction Has on Families

Saturday approaches and we eagerly await it’s arrival. This particular Saturday is National Go To A Museum Day, a rarely unprompted activity nowadays among the busy day to day life. Alternatively, try an art exhibit—like perhaps the Theresa Clower exhibit at Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Gormley Gallery.

INTO LIGHT; “Through art, honoring those who have died from drug addiction”

In Theresa Clower’s premiere Baltimore exhibition, Into Light explores the tragic reality of the drug addiction crisis in Baltimore, Maryland, and the loss that comes with it. After losing her own son in 2018 Clower struggled with the whirlwind of emotions that followed. Clower’s careful attention and detail in her graphite portraits conveys the power and depth of grief, love, loss, and humanity associated with addiction.

“He celebrated his 32nd birthday just a few months prior while in rehab treatment. He wrote in his journal, he felt good and strong; and he was committed to his recovery. In the end the disease won-out. My beautiful, witty, bright, hilariously funny boy was carried out of a Baltimore apartment in a body bag.”(Clower)

Allowing herself the time and space to grieve and reflect, she shared with those close to her, and finally revisited her graphite pencils to draw—starting with a portrait of her son.

“I had never attempted portraiture work and was a bit hesitant. I started it and worked on it for days. Each pencil line seemed like a visit with Devin. I studied and memorized each and every part of his beautiful face. It was a process. I felt relaxed and comfortable with this process. I enjoyed the time with Devin. And then there was nothing more to do. I had poured my heart and soul into the drawing and it was done….I was saying goodbye to my son.” (Clower)

Clower depicts the immense grief and cathartic goodbye to her son in vivid detail. Clower describes not only the want to continue creating portraits, but the obligation: “I HAD to.” After her son’s portrait she continued onto the portraits and narratives of others effected by addiction, bringing her a new understanding towards life and death, grief and pain, love and loss. She refers to her passion as a gift left from her son;

“It is the physical embodiment of the notion that life is not black and white, made of many shades of gray in there. It is also an exercise in patience and letting go, slowing down, and focusing.”

There is Help

Addiction impacts the entire family, and at Amatus Recovery Centers across the country, we are dedicated to including loved ones as part of the recovery process through therapy and education around healthy boundaries and support. To learn about our addiction treatment services and which level of care is the right one for you, contact an admissions specialist at 833- 216-3079. 

Amatus Recovery Centers, a division of Amatus Health, offers treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders in facilities across the country. To learn more visit amatusrecoverycenters.com. 

Into Light will be featured at Gormley Gallery at Notre Dame of Maryland University from now through November 22nd.

Special Events and programs related to the drug epidemic will be held on campus throughout it’s exhibition.

See Notre Dame’s Gormley Gallery website or Into Lights website for more details.

The Opioid Crisis and Paths to Healing: A Panel Discussion on Drug Addiction Wednesday, November 13 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Fourier Hall, Room 103

Naloxone Training* Wednesday, November 20 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Fourier Hall, Room 103