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UR Nursing Student Curates Art Show on Addiction

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Monday, July 2, 2018

NARTCAN, a free exhibit showcasing a variety of moving artwork created for and inspired by those dealing with substance abuse, opens July 6 at Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda.

artwork of addiction

NARTCAN is curated by Justin Chaize, a registered nurse and a graduate student at the University at Rochester School of Nursing’s family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program. Chaize has chosen to devote his career to the field of mental health as a specialist in caring for people suffering from and overcoming addiction. The title of the exhibit is derived from the brand of an antidotal, over-the-counter drug called NARCAN (Naloxone), which can be acquired in a pharmacy by anyone, to administrate to a person suffering opioid overdose, reversing the effect of opioids, and saving that person’s life.

The exhibit, which runs through July 27, features a compelling collection of works which shed light on the otherwise dark world of addiction, with each piece delivering its own unique insight into the effect substance abuse has on the lives of those suffering from addiction as well their loved ones. It includes multimedia artwork selected by artists from across North America, including New York, Toronto, Boston, Chicago, and Rochester.

In conjunction with the exhibit, there will be a performance of “How to Be a Respectable Junkie,” a one-man play written by Greg Vovos and performed by Christopher Bohan, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 7. Tickets are required, and can be purchased at The exhibit kicks off with an opening reception at the gallery from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 6.

A percentage of the proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the Mark Blazek Memorial Fund. Mark was a student of the University at Buffalo who died of a heroin overdose.

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