Lawrenceburg, IN — Weaved tightly in a cocoon, a caterpillar has the chance to transform itself to begin a new life. They will spread their new wings to become part of their surrounding community, adding beauty along the way. That is why a butterfly appears in the logo for the Dearborn County JCAP Alumni program. The program aims to change the lives of people who have struggled with chemical dependency issues. Part of the beauty alumni hopes to share with the community is a series of collaborative artworks called Project Hope, the first piece to be unveiled and displayed by the Lawrenceburg Public Library District in the courtyard of the Lawrenceburg Main Library, 150 Mary St., Lawrenceburg.
The public is invited to attend the project unveiling set for Thursday, June 17, in the courtyard of the library. The event will take place from noon to 2 pm with light refreshments. The unveiling is set for 12:30 pm when JCAP alumni are scheduled to speak along with program director Tisha Linzy and local ceramic artist LeAnn Price.
Dearborn County Jail Chemical Addictions Program offers early intervention and treatment within a correctional setting to create a positive impact upon an alumni’s release in the community.
The idea for the art project blossomed after a discussion between Linzy and Price about ways the program alumni could make a positive impact on the community.
“I was involved in the City of Lawrenceburg’s Community Action Recovery Effort (CARE) initiative, an effort to fill in the gaps of addiction treatment services in the community,” said Price.
She listened to peer recovery coaches speak about how the most difficult part of recovery is trying to enter back into the community with the stigma and shame attached to drug addiction, she said.
After attending an Indiana Art Commission meeting, she started thinking about the part art could play in making a difference in the community, said Price, who has a bachelor’s degree in art therapy. “I was interested in creating a public piece of art to display in the community,” she said. Meanwhile, Linzy was looking for positive ways JCAP alumni could participate in the community. There is a lack of positive social experiences for people in recovery. Project Hope is a way to beautify and become more involved in the community, said Linzy.
“It was a perfect match,” said Price.
Price was interested in pursuing a project using clay. She had the idea to make a totem for the group’s first big project.
“Each person can create a piece or part of it, but then pull it together as one piece of art,” said Price. COVID-19 slowed down the creation of the pieces, which were worked on by a core of four to seven people. Some created an entire piece while others helped with different aspects along the way, said Linzy.
Christopher, a JCAP alum, created the butterfly logo for the program, she said.
From the inception of the county JCAP program, Dearborn County Superior Court II Judge Sally McLaughlin insisted alumni need support as they transition back to the community. Project Hope is one way to help make this happen, said Linzy.
“It has been amazing to watch them. Some of the alumni have never created art or touched clay before. I think they were surprised by what they could do,” said Price.
The art project would not have been possible, however, without grants and donations, she said. The Indiana Arts Commission, part of the National Endowment for the Arts, provided the start-up funds to initiate the project, said Price.
A grant from the Lawrenceburg Community Grant Program paid for all the materials including clay and glazes. CASA provides funds for food, drinks, and small incentives for participants. The workspace was provided by Dearborn Highlands Arts Council. 1Voice provided equipment for creating photos and video to document the project, she said.
Lawrenceburg Public Library District is allowing the totem project to be unveiled and displayed in the courtyard.
“As a public institution that champions diversity, inclusion, and equity, the library is delighted to demonstrate support to the JCAP Program and the participants’ art unveiling event! We will continue to welcome all who use our resources and spaces,” said Barbara Bonney, Director of the Lawrenceburg Public Library District.
However, additional donations and financial support are needed to pursue future artwork projects, said Price.
Information about how to help will be available at the event or contact LeAnn at (812) 584-8611.
(Lawrenceburg Public Library District press release)