Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Laura Hartford

Second Advisor

Dr. Pam Cartor

Third Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Blandford


This interdisciplinary, creative thesis aims to deconstruct the stigma directed towards individuals who struggle with substance use disorder (SUD) through the use of a solo art exhibit on Bellarmine University's campus. This exhibit features two large-scale installation sculptures and curated art pieces created by individuals at Crossroads Recovery Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to the gallery exhibition, this research-based written reflection is also included. One of the sculptures portrays the “hurt” that stigma causes for those who struggle with SUD. In contrast, the second sculpture represents the “healing” that can be achieved for people struggling with SUD when stigma is replaced with empathy. Inspiration for these pieces comes from interviews conducted with individuals who generously shared their history and personal experiences with substance use, documentaries about SUD, volunteer experience with Art for All People in Cincinnati, Ohio, scholarly journal articles, and other forms of research. The written reflection provides an overview of my inspiration and process for creating each art piece in context with the research and discoveries made about stigma and substance use during the creative process.