INTO LIGHT is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to remembering, through art, those who have lost their lives to drug addiction. Through its work in communities throughout the country, it hopes to reduce the stigma around opioid addiction and to provide a platform for community, support, education, and connection.
Every state in the US will have a series of forty-one graphite portraits drawn of people lost to drug addiction in that area. These portraits, along with a narrative about each person, will be on public display in a local gallery on a college or university campus. At the end of each exhibition, the family of those who are in the exhibition will be gifted the portrait and the accompanying catalogue containing both the portraits and the narratives.
The ultimate goal of the INTO LIGHT project, much in the spirit of the AIDS Name Project, will be a multi-media installation in Washington, D.C. using the over 2000 scanned images collected from around the country that will document, both through the portraits and the narratives, the tragic loss of life to the opiod epidemic.
The opioid crisis is devastating. In 2017 alone, more than 70,000 people died. That is more than the number of deaths suffered by American soldiers in the Vietnam War. Between 1999 and 2017 more than 702,000 people have died. This is more than the number of deaths suffered by American soldiers in WWI and WWII combined.
INTO LIGHT provides an opportunity for connection, education, and support for the families of those lost and the communities affected by this tragic epidemic. It is about healing, fighting the shame of drug addiction that is often present, and a time for seeing those we have lost to drugs as the beautiful people they were before addiction “stole their personality.”
Theresa Clower, Founder, was inspired to create INTO LIGHT, shortly after the death of her son, Devin Bearden, to an accidental drug overdose in February 2018.