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‘Hello my name is …’ opens Friday at CFA

'I’ve been in recovery since 2013'

Douglas Lail

An exhibit to celebrate the positive impact of recovery in our communities


Asheville visual artist Douglas Lail will present “Hello My Name Is…”, a collection of 40 portraits and personal recovery stories of people recovering from alcohol, drugs, mental health and other life challenges.

The exhibit opening reception and artist talk is Friday, July 14, in the Art Gallery of Center for Faith and the Arts and the exhibit will run through the first week of September.

A professional artist since 2007, Lail began concentrating on portraits in 2014. The idea to do an exhibit on people in recovery grew out of Lail’s own recovery experience and his desire to do something socially relevant with his artwork.

“I’ve been in recovery since 2013,” Lail said. “I’d been in recovery about 18 months and was experiencing the sting of negative social stigma associated with addiction and I realized I had found the subject matter for my artwork. This project offers a look at the faces of people that face their greatest fears and reunite with the world.”

Lail said the HMNI project is a community outreach program to break through the social stigma of addiction by focusing on the positive impact of recovery in the lives of individuals, their families and the community.

He created the portraits in the HMNI project using basic white charcoal on black paper. He said he chose this medium to align the art with the overall concept of the project — emerging from the darkness of addiction into the light of recovery. “My mission with this project is to paint the light that I see in the mirror as well as the light I see in the people in recovery around me,” Lail said.

The exhibit and July 14 opening reception are free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to support the project, but the artwork itself is not for sale. The Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC), is the Fiscal Sponsor of The “Hello My Name Is…” Project.

For more information or with questions visit ashevillearts.com/programs. The project is a traveling exhibit and Lail intends to schedule more tour dates for 2017 and beyond. Those interested in following his efforts may contact Lail at www.HMNI.org, or follow the project’s progress on Facebook at HelloMyNameIsProject

The Center for Faith & the Arts is located at 207 W. Harrison St. The reception is Friday July 14 from 6-9 p.m. with a talk by the artist at 7:30 p.m.

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