“In My Shoes” exhibit at Central Library is the work of those trying to overcome addiction

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- In a sea of books and literature lies an exhibit catching the attention of visitors at Milwaukee's Central Library. Shoes painted and decorated sit between the bookshelves. Although they don't have pages, they still tell a story.

"I think that using art allows the clients to express themselves in a nonverbal way, which a lot times they have a hard time sharing verbally what things that they've been through or talking about their story," said Rosecrance Art Therapist Jennifer Thammavong.

The footwear is part of the exhibit "In My Shoes."

Rosecrance treatment facility uses art therapy while helping its clients recover from addiction.

"Our treatment facility really focuses on the 12 steps, so shoes just seem to make sense when we're talking about a life path, a story, a journey," said Thammavong.

Jessica Poupore was touched when she saw the exhibit as she too is battling addiction.

"To see this gives me inspiration and I hope it inspires other people to take that step," said Poupore.

All of the shoes are actually made by teens, with the intent of starting a conversation between parents and their kids about drug abuse.

"It allows parents to have a conversation that might be uncomfortable based on something like shoe art," said Thammavong.

"There's a lot of people dying and a lot of kids dying because of this and if we can stop it now and we can bring awareness to a lot more people than I think this community would grow so much better," said Poupore.

"In My Shoes" is a free exhibit on display at the Central Library through April 26th. Central Library is located at 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue.

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