DreamZzzzs: The Art in Living Opioid Crisis
An awareness project based out of Vancouver, Hastings Ave, epicenter of the fentanyl crisis:
Hi- I have never experienced how this crowd funding goes, but always leave it up to an ARTIST 🙂 to ask for money, right? Please donate HERE. Thank you. What it is for:
My PASSION PROJECT “DreamZzzzs: The Art in Living Opioid Crisis” is about developing my sketches of the opioid users in Vancouver, and to make connections that will help me to learn what their dreams were/are of becoming. I would like to develop a show of sketches and paintings of the dreams they have for themselves so that we can see that the people affected by the crisis are real and so much like you and I.
How it started– I experienced Hastings Street Vancouver. A CEO of a community outreach program drove me through the area so that I could see what we see on the news in Winnipeg. I was drawn to the area and returned with my sketchbook for a couple of days.
Not until you make eye contact of what is left of these human beings do you see death looking back and are hit by what the word CRISIS actually looks like.
As a mother and educator I have real concerns about the drug issues that come near to my children, and it is a constant worry that they get tired of hearing about. But HOW does one really make them understand? They think they are invincible, untouchable, safe. We wish all our children are. We talk in terms of THEM, not US.
We HOPE the figures that educate our children teach them about the issues. Being part of the Manitoba Education system for over 2 decades, I know that education comes in the form of reaction, not prevention, and that the fentanyl crisis has not hit the School Divisions desktop yet in the form of effective information and communication made available.
It isn’t a crisis in Winnipeg. It’s a Vancouver problem. Right?
Hundreds. Honestly hundreds of colourless eyes, hitched skeletons dragging their tripped up bodies through the street. Needles carried liked cigarettes behind their ears. So many young people needing walkers to support their slow spasmed movements.
Business men in their nice suits, walk crooked in their ties, all intelligence drained from their face, dressed for a job they will never make it back to. The Walking Dead in living colour- or more aptly, lifeless and pale. It does not even seem real, that this exists. That it can approach me and ask for money, or that it will accept the food I have to offer.
It is ugly. Living can look ugly. As an artist or CULTURAL WORKER, I feel a connection, a morbid curiousity with these zombies- they must have had a dream, a vision once upon a time before they started using- what was it? Do they recall?
There is a man, muscled, tanned, shirtless dancing big. Exagerated movements. On the sidewalk. On the street. Three hours. He doesn’t stop. Then he slows, still exagerating these organic dance moves as he sinks lower, and lower, slides down the brick wall, still trying to get it out, and then he is still. A woman sinks down next to him, leans in, passes out.
Was he a dancer? Do they know eachother? Why does he look so fit and tanned and why is he on Hastings? What happened that this is his reality now? What was his dream?
Old. Young. Boney. Still breathing, one hour at a time.
This is happening in Winnipeg, but we have pushed it to the riverbanks. The police ignore or avoid it or simply do not have the resources to handle it.
The camps are there. The dealers are there. The opioids and risks of fentanyl tainted drugs are there. One of us may know someone who ended up there. One of us, one of our children will end up there. That is reality, sad and true and needs to be talked about.
It needs to be a topic at the dinner table, among friends and family, because the problem is not going away. Let’s act together to be preventative, supportive, talk about the causes of why- maybe we can help someone near to us from going down that path. Maybe one of us will act in heightened awareness of those who may be susceptible.
ART is something we can all participate in. Whether you love it, hate it, you will notice it- it starts the discussion.
ART pokes the bear.
ART can have the power to wake people up. ART can help each other realize dreams, so that WE CAN HELP THOSE THAT CAN’T bring their dreams to reality.
I’m a Winnipegger, and the crisis I am sketching and basing DreamZzzzs paintings out of is in Vancouver. The money I am asking for is to support the travel for research and interviews, the supplies for paintings, photographer expenses, writer/project blogger expenses, show rental spaces in Vancouver and Winnipeg.
My goal is to also take my teens down for them to see the crisis first hand, listen to their response and thoughts from a 16 & 18 year old perspective, directly effected by our education system. They often offer such valuable insight. I want them to be part of this experience, because, they are, the reason I am doing such a project. This is a quite a departure from floral and prairie landscapes!
I hope to bring dignity and a creative approach to such an intense subject, that reflects lives in full colour and big beautiful movements, that makes us hopeful, compassionate and starts a conversation.
Thank you for any donation you can spare. Please share this project with others. GO FUND ME DONATION PAGE
Glenna Evans Mulvihill, B.Ed. Fine Arts