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A photograph from Michael Poster’s exhibit at BMAC, "If She Has A Pulse, She Has A Chance,” which chronicles what it takes to recover from addiction.

The Arts

Photography exhibit, events highlight struggle of addiction

An opening reception for “If She Has A Pulse, She Has A Chance” will take place at BMAC on Friday, Oct. 5, at 5:30 p.m., during Brattleboro’s monthly Gallery Walk. The reception is free and open to the public. Four other exhibits will open concurrently. Alcohol will not be served. For more information, visit www.brattleboromuseum.org or call 802-257-0124, ext. 101.

BRATTLEBORO—An upcoming photography exhibit and series of related events organized by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center shed light on what it takes to recover from addiction, a daunting challenge facing individuals, families, and communities throughout the U.S.

Supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, and sponsored by the Brattleboro Retreat, “If She Has A Pulse, She Has A Chance” consists of 32 photographic portraits of Vermonters recovering from addiction and 13 printed text panels containing gripping first-person narratives by people in recovery.

The photographs were taken and narratives collected by documentary photographer Michael Poster at Turning Point of Windham County, a downtown Brattleboro community center for those whose lives have been affected by addiction.

Of Poster’s work, Turning Point Executive Director Suzie Walker says, “I’ve had a front-row seat to watching Michael collect recovery portraits and stories the last couple of years. He has captured the hope and promise of recovery in a compelling and compassionate way, and people have been thrilled to open up to him. I’m eager to see how our community responds to the good news of recovery, as lived by these brave people every day.”

The title of the exhibit is drawn from something Poster once heard from a friend who helps opioid users get medically assisted treatment: “I refuse to give up on her. You just never know when someone will be ready to change. The way I see it, if she has a pulse, she has a chance."

The exhibit opens Oct. 5 in BMAC’s Center Gallery and remains on view through Jan. 7. During that time, BMAC, in partnership with the Brattleboro Retreat, Turning Point, and Groundworks Collaborative, will present four free public events aimed at galvanizing constructive conversation about addiction and recovery.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #477 (Wednesday, September 19, 2018). This story appeared on page B4.

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