Art Reducing Stigma

Appalachian Artisan Center Newsletter

Appalachian Artisan Center



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September, 2021

Partnerships in Healing


In the fifth year of Culture of Recovery, we have gained much attention for the therapeutic benefits of arts and the effectiveness in combatting substance abuse disorders. We value the partnerships we gained in our journey to promote Arts and Healing for all. Here are few highlights in the recent months where partnering with entities of similar interests can produce something much more than we anticipated.


Art Reducing Stigma

Charmaine Wheatley painting Ben

Charmaine Wheatley and her crew continue their travels combatting stigma against mental illness and more recently, victims of substance abuse disorders. The dedicated crew documents and exhibits Charmaine’s beautiful yet meaningful watercolor portraits created during the live drawing sessions. Recently they have visited and partnered with the Knott and Floyd County recovery community. Charmaine just completed an installation at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg and she is now ready to install her work in mid-September at the Knott County Judicial Center. She quotes:


“I was smittened by the warmth of the people and by the connection between arts, culture and recovery.  Usually where there’s such an abundance of fine art, craft and culture there’s a nearby bougie café where your cappuccino has a foam heart. In Hindman it seems everyone pours their hearts over recovery. I especially appreciated Hickory Hill, where men who once took from their community were now all about generously giving wherever they could. I think of all the people I sat with: Ben Bowling, Ethan Whited, Philip Aaron Hudson and Melissa Handshoe as friends. Knott County is lucky to live with them.”


Portrait of Ben by Charmaine Wheatley
© Charmaine Wheatley, All Rights Reserved
More on this incredible project: 
Art Against Stigma