The Art of Recovery: Encouraging Creativity and Hope through Works of Art
When Maryland Addiction Recovery Center opened its doors three years ago, co-owners Aura Arslanian, Sam Bierman and Zach Snitzer made a concerted decision to surround patients with real artwork that would be hopeful, thought-provoking and inspiring. No “Hang in There” kitty posters or generic motivational platitudes, but rather actual artwork that gave the center a unique feel and accomplished an important goal.
“I grew up in New York in the art world and I was close with many artists,” explained Arslanian, MARC’s Director of Corporate Development. “And I saw many artist friends suffer from addiction that couldn’t or wouldn’t get sober because they believed that if they got sober they would lose that piece of them that made them great, that made them artistic. I’ve had many friends die from addiction with that belief, so when we opened MARC I knew I wanted to make sure it was a place that offered healing and hope. That we surrounded the patients with creativity and art that allowed them to see that sobriety is not the end of creativity but really a rebirth.”
In order to surround the MARC clients with artistic inspiration and hope, MARC recently purchased artwork by local artist David Roesner titled ”Periodic Table of Sky”, an array of 30 8”x10”oil on canvas individual pieces that will be displayed in the new expansion of the Maryland Addiction Recovery Center clinical office space in Towson. The piece is described by the artist as “a clean celebration of color, life and diversity.”
Roesner himself is a person in recovery from addiction, having celebrated his third year of being alcohol and drug free this past August. In describing his latest year of sobriety, David said “this last year has been one of my most productive and creatively fulfilling years. And I’m looking for many more to come.” Like many other artistic people, while using David tied his identity to that of the drunken artist, a free spirited person whose artistic ability was born through the pain of addiction. In his addiction, David feared that sobriety would mean that he would lose his artistic ability and even damage his credibility as an artist. In short, being sober would mean losing his identity. However, three years after his last drink and drug, he is happy to report that is certainly not the case.
“In hindsight, my addiction clouded my perspective. I had an inability to see myself ever being sober but what actually was happening in my addiction was that I wasn’t really an artist at all, I was someone who talked about being an artist. What I’ve found in sobriety is truly an ability to be creative. Today I have the ability to be an effective artist. These last three years my work has grown in quality and quantity. I am able to create and also make connections with people who are interested in art and in buying my art and supporting me as an artist.”
In terms of a message to anyone still struggling in addiction or newly sober that fears recovery will be a hindrance to their creative ability, Roesner passionately disagrees.
“There is more creativity and art in you then you know,” he says. “The clarity of sobriety is something that you need to experience for yourself. I am constantly surprised how wrong I was in conflating intoxication with creativity. For me, recovery has been the greatest gift to my art.”
To learn more about David Roesner and see his online portfolio, visit his web-site at www.davidroesner.com. Contact information is available on the web-site.
If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at Contact us today. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.
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