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May 11, 2018 05:11 PM

Vision & Voice Event Featuring Student's Stories

A student art show in Sioux Falls featuring stories of addiction and recovery is expanding to include poetry this year thanks to a grant from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation. It's now being called the Vision and Voice Art Show and Poetry Jam and it will be center stage at the Sioux Falls Orpheum Theater Friday night. The event is an outlet for students in programs at Joe Foss and Axtell Park. 

"Hey, I've had this problem about my whole life. They don't understand but it's all right," Ashton Putzier said. 

Ashton Putzier graduated last week but that's not stopping him from taking part in the first ever production of Vision and Voice. 

"My father made mistakes for his crimes. I'm the living aftermath. I'm surprised there's a picture of me and him when I took my first bath. I could be where he is now, but I took my own path," Putzier said. 

Jazmine Roos will also take the stage at the Orpheum Friday night. She's one of about a dozen students who volunteered to provide some inspiring poetry. 

"Insecurities go up in flames. I rise from the ashes, a phoenix," Jazmine Roos said.

Instead of poetry, senior Kadren Tracy opted for painting a blank canvas. Her untitled piece deals with dependence on others. 

"I like having someone there for me. So you can be with someone, and there can be that empty love, but at the end of the day they're just draining you," Tracy said. 

Senior Jake Meier battles addiction. 

"It's a person climbing up a bottle trying to overcome the drinking habits. So he's like climbing up a rope to the top," Meier said.  

Meier says participating in the art show twice a year helps him stay focused on living a clean life. 

"After work, me and my friends would just get a bottle and drink it," Meier said. "And it just kind of lot brought me down as a person." 

Sharing these stories that others can relate to can provide healing. The process of creating the pieces is also valuable. 

"It's kind of an escape or a release. You're just focusing on that one thing and everything else is just kind of away. Not worrying about it," Tracy said. 

The event is put together by instructors Joan Zephier and Kim Bartling. It is free and open to the public Friday night from 6-8.

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