“Facing Addiction” exhibit expresses deep message


Peyton Rollins

The exhibit features a memorial for Sam Moermond

Peyton Rollins, Arts & Recreation Editor

The “Facing Addiction” exhibit premiered on Nov. 5, 2021 at the Roberta’s Art Gallery in the University Center. The exhibit focuses on the struggles of addiction and the way that it can affect any individual. The display created by Paul Smith features different portraits of individuals who face addiction and how the stigma and stereotypical attributes of an addict are not always seen or obvious. Smith portrays each one of the people in his exhibit with grace and respect and brings a deep message to the issue. Paul Smith, a Wisconsin artist who also faced addiction during his life, made the exhibit to show awareness of this issue. 

The exhibit includes the “Tree of Hope”,  it encourages the viewers of the exhibit to leave a message of inspiration for individuals who were impacted by addiction.  “Facing Addiction” also features a memorial dedicated to Sam Moermond, who was accepted to UW-Whitewater. Sam Moermond suffered from addiction and eventually recovered. He helped many other individuals on their road to recovery, but unfortunately passed away after he relapsed.  The UW-Whitewater Foundation created a scholarship in Sam Moermond’s name. “This scholarship shall be made to promising students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with preference given to students overcoming substance abuse,” mentioned in the Sam Moermond Second Chance Scholarship. 

 “Facing Addiction” is a moving exhibit and the art shows how the stigma of addiction is not always obvious. The panel discussion is available Nov. 10, 2021 on the UC Facebook Live. For any other questions or information regarding the exhibit,  contact Roberta’s Art Gallery at (262) 472-3193 or visit the website at Roberta’s Art Gallery (uww.edu).

The Tree of Hope let’s viewers leave messages to other individuals struggling with addiction (Peyton Rollins)