Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
Photo 1

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 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.

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!

We rely on the donations and financial support of our readers to help make The Commons available to all. Please join us today.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.


We are currently reconfiguring our comments software. Please check back if you’d like to read or leave comments on this story. —The editors

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

Share this story


Related stories