Rosecrance traveling art exhibit gives teens' perspective on substance use and recovery

Top Quote Two-week run at Riverfront Museum Park, April 29 to May 10. End Quote
  • Rockford, IL (1888PressRelease) April 28, 2015 - Life stories of teens in treatment at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Adolescent Treatment Campus are highlighted in a traveling art exhibit called "In My Shoes", which will be showcased at Riverfront Museum Park from April 29 to May 10, 2015.

    The exhibit was created to help parents and other adults understand teenagers' points of view about the pressures they face and how they are confronted with the potential to use and abuse substances. Following tour stops in the Chicagoland area, the exhibit has been featured at Milwaukee Public Library's Central Branch for most of April. After the Rockford stop, it will have a two-week run in the Rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.

    Riverfront Museum Park is located at 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. The "In My Shoes" exhibit will be featured in the Skylight on the second floor.

    "This artwork display will inspire parents to do all they can to support and help prevent any level of substance use among their teens," said Dr. Thomas Wright, Rosecrance's Chief Medical Officer. "Teens want their parents to actively parent and give them guidance, especially in today's changing social environment."

    The exhibit features more than a dozen shoes that have been painted, beaded or otherwise embellished to tell each teenager's story. The shoes are accompanied by artists' statements that detail journeys to recovery that are, alternately, enlightening and inspiring.

    "In My Shoes" serves as a starting point for discussion between parents and teens with the goal of preventing substance use. This project was spearheaded on the adolescent campus by art therapist Jennifer Thammavong.

    Art therapy is a meaningful experience, Thammavong says, because it allows people to begin expressing their thoughts and feelings, even if they are unable to do so verbally. Once expressed through art, those emotions are more easily confronted, discussed and processed, which leads to healing.

    Visit for more information. A parent's guide for talking to teenagers about marijuana called "Teens and Weed: Still a Big Deal" is available at

    Interviews can be arranged with art therapist Jennifer Thammavong and Rosecrance Chief Medical Officer Thomas Wright, M.D.

    Judy Emerson
    Director of Communications
    Rosecrance Health Network
    1021 N. Mulford Road
    Rockford, IL 61107
    815.387.5605 (office); 815.262.4685 (cell)
    Email: jemerson ( @ ) rosecrance dot org

    About Rosecrance
    Rosecrance is a leading provider of treatment services for substance use and mental health disorders. A private not-for-profit organization, Rosecrance serves more than 16,000 children, teens, adults and families each year. Rosecrance provides comprehensive care through inpatient and outpatient programs in Rockford, Illinois, and services at five satellite offices in Chicagoland and elsewhere in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The organization was founded in 1916 (More information at

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  • Rosecrance
  • Director of Communications Rosecrance Health Network 1021 N. Mulford Road Rockford, IL 61107
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