As the opioid crisis continues, communities continues to tackle the stigma by talking about it — and creating works of art.

Angela Conover, director of Opioid Response and Prevention for The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey said the idea behind the art exhibit is to encourage New Jersey residents use their artistic abilities to address the impact of the opioid crisis, what it's doing to the state and to their families.

The exhibit started in 2015 as way to break down the stigma of the opioid crisis, said Conover. The goal is to look at the epidemic and to get people to see, with new eyes, that everyone is impacted in some way by this crisis. No community has been untouched by this, added Conover.

The heroin and opioid crisis affects people in various ways so using art as a medium to get their message across is really the goal of the exhibit.

To enter, go to www.drugfreenj.org/HeroinArtExhibit. There, people can get all the rules and regulations. Entries will be accepted until April 27. Anyone who is a New Jersey resident is invited to participate.

"The artwork that is submitted should address how the opioid crisis has impacted that person, or how they see that opioid crisis impacting their community, their family or themselves," said Conover.

Any form of art will be accepted including photography, paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages and charcoal sketches, to name a few. Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and Honorable Mention.

Artwork selected as finalists will be exhibited starting on June 3 at the Project for Empty Space on Broad Street in Newark. They should remain on display for about three or four days for the public to see.

Last year, hundreds of pieces were entered from middle ane high school students.

The 2019 winner of the Heroin and Opioid Art Exhibition was Laura Cain, of Gloucester County, and her work entitled "Trails Against the Grain."

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