ICYMI: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Invites New Hampshire Artist to Exhibit "Angels of Addiction" Collection
Concord, NH - Anne Marie Zanfagna, a Plaistow, New Hampshire artist showcased about 130 portraits from her “Angels of Addiction” collection in the U.S. Capitol last week at the invitation of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. After painting a portrait of her daughter, who died in an accidental overdose, Zanfagna began her “Angels of Addiction” collection to help other families who had lost loved ones to addiction. Zanfagna and Shaheen encouraged lawmakers to visit the exhibit and reflect on the human impact of the opioid crisis. Recently, bipartisan, comprehensive opioid legislation passed the Senate, which included Sen. Shaheen’s priorities to support Granite Staters and combat the crisis. Statement from NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley: “As Senator Shaheen so importantly noted, the opioid crisis is so often talked about in terms of statistics, rather than sharing the stories of those who struggle with addiction and their loved ones. We’re grateful our elected leaders are working to find solutions. Thanks to Anne Marie Zanfagna for her important work and to Senator Shaheen for bringing it to the attention of the nation.”
WMUR: 'Angels of Addiction' exhibit shows victims of epidemic A Plaistow, New Hampshire, artist whose daughter died in an accidental overdose is showcasing her work in the nation's capital in an exhibit meant to help grieving families. Anne Marie and Jim Zanfagna's daughter, Jacqueline, died in 2014 of an accidental overdose at age 25. Anne Marie Zanfagna said that at first, she couldn't pick up her paintbrush, but once she was able to, she discovered something. She painted a portrait of her daughter, and when she showed it to others who had lost loved ones to addiction, they also wanted their family members memorialized. So far, Zanfagna has painted more than 150 portraits and has a waitlist about a year long. U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, is hosting the Zanfagnas and their Angels of Addiction exhibit in the Capitol. "The opioid epidemic, which is too often talked about in terms of statistics and numbers, this really shows that this is happening to people and the personal power that these portraits bring," Shaheen said.
Concord Monitor: Mother’s paintings of people lost to addiction catching more attention Anne Marie Zanfagna has been an artist for her entire life. But when she lost her daughter, Jacqueline, to a heroin overdose in 2014, her work became more personal. She stopped painting landscapes and objects and turned to portraits. The first portrait was of her daughter, an act which Zanfagna said helped her cope with the unbearable grief the loss. Now, nearly four years later, Zanfagna has used her paintbrush to help other families going through a similar experience. She has done more than 150 portraits, and about 130 of them were on display at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., this week. The work has caught the attention of lawmakers in the building, something U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen hoped would happen when she invited the Zafagna to display her work. “You hear the numbers and you know it is a lot, but when you try to translate that into lives, it’s different,” she said. “When you see these faces you will cry because we’ve lost all of these people.” Being able to see those faces is what makes the work so powerful, Shaheen said. “The scale of this epidemic is staggering but numbers don’t tell the whole story,” Shaheen said. “Families like the Zanfagnas who have lost loved ones and are bravely sharing their stories are increasing awareness and helping to destigmatize substance use disorders.”