Ex-Addicts' Fine Art, Writing Illustrate Kane Drug Court's Success Story

Ex-Addicts’ Fine Art, Writing Illustrate Kane Drug Court’s Success Story

Creativity takes courage.”

— Henri Matisse

It is important to express oneself … provided the feelings are real and are taken from your own experience.”

— Berthe Morisot

The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.”

— Auguste Rodin

One of the 16th Circuit Court’s most creative initiatives is using creativity itself to help break the costly cycle of crime.

On Wednesday, you can see proof of that in the artwork created by former addicts.

The Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court will hold the 5th Annual Fine Art and Writing Show from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Jury Assembly Room, JC-100, located on the first floor of the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 7.53.57 AMThe artwork and writings — some of it truly breathtaking, all of it passionate — are submitted by current drug court participants as well as recent graduates. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

According to 16th Circuit Associate Judge Marmarie Kostelny, as many as 95 percent of drug users who leave jail start using again. Kane County’s drug court offers a cost-effective alternative — an intensive, 30-month program of treatment, counseling and monitoring aimed at keeping drug addicts out of the revolving court system.

The art show is presented as a positive, sober event for drug court participants and is intended to encourage healthy and creative activities. The art often represents the participants’ hard work in recovery, their thoughts on addiction and their efforts at reunification with others. By working with Kane County Drug Court, participants commit to their recovery under close judicial supervision for 30 months of intensive treatment and probation.

“When a defendant enters into our drug court program, they have often spent years and sometimes decades abusing illegal drugs and engaging in criminal activity,” Kostelny said. “During that time, they have lost healthy relationships with their families and friends and have often forgotten how to engage in normal, pro-social activities.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 7.53.48 AMOn Wednesday, you’ll have a chance to see a wide variety of art forms, including some live music, video submissions as well as more-traditional paintings and collages. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served by drug court participants who have volunteered to assist with the event.

“Our Kane County Drug Court team works hard to help individuals engage in sober, healthy and positive relationships and activities,” Kostelny said. “We do this by organizing events such as an annual family picnic, book clubs, holiday parties and our annual art show. The art show is specifically designed to encourage creative expression and often the works submitted reflect on the artist’s addiction and recovery.

“The show also provides an excellent opportunity to appreciate art in general. Participants are very proud of the work they submit for the show and we are all very moved by the ideas and emotions expressed through the art.”

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Drug Court Fine Art and Writing Extravaganza

  • When: 3:30  to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015
  • Where: Jury Assembly Room, JC-100, located on the first floor of the Kane County Judicial Center, 37W777 IL Route 38, St. Charles
  • Admission: Free and open to the public
  • Website: illinois16thjudicialcircuit.org

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