This Mural was painted in downtown Scranton PA. After research I found that the area has been dis-proportionally afflicted by the opioid epidemic. I’ve been following this issue for some time now, and I find it abhorrent. I set out to conceive of a mural that would provoke thought raise awareness, and possibly even create positive change in the community.
The main challenge in conceiving this concept was trying to illuminate such a serious and morbid issue while still making a beautiful mural that could both provoke thought and brighten community. After a great deal of research one solution to this problem became clear. I decided to focus on one very specific aspect of the Opioid epidemic; the children of addicts are being raised by their grandparents. For a litany of reasons (Overdose deaths, rehab, Jail, Etc) Opiate abuse makes it so that parents can no longer care for their children and in many cases the grandparents assume custody of the kids. This puts a huge fanatical strain on the grandparents. Subsequently, many of them are forced out of retirement and need to rejoin the work force in order to support their grand-kids. To illustrate all of this I chose to depict a grandmother in a fast food uniform holding her grandchild. She is juxtaposed with an ethereal field of Poppy flowers, the source plant of opiate drugs. Although the Opioid epidemic is very dark and serious, I wanted this mural to ultimately be about love, compassion, and selflessness.