Eric Hatch thought photographing volunteers from the community of people addicted to alcohol, meth and heroin would make for an interesting artistic challenge. Once he started meeting them and seeing them as human beings, his artistic project became a crusade.
The impact of being seen as a real, three-dimensional person with value to society changes the subjects in a subtle way as well. Having photographed just 50, he’s already found one that quickly decided to get clean and sober, checking herself into rehab.
Be sure to watch the entire interview in the player above to see a sample of the photos as well as to hear about the human beings Eric photographs.
Interview with Eric K. Hatch, the Founder and president of Faces of Addiction, Inc.
The following is the pre-interview with Eric K. Hatch. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?
Everybody knows addiction is a huge problem. However, addicted persons are dehumanized by treating them as statistics, or by labels such as “addicts,” “junkies,” “street trash” and “meth head.”
We seek to change the way we look at addicted persons, so that they are seen as individual human beings. We do this by creating and displaying a collection of art-quality portraits of 50 addicted persons, along with brief stories of their lives.
More about Faces of Addiction, Inc.:
FOA is a non-profit corporation in the State of Ohio. The purpose is to change the conversation around addiction by presenting a living vision of the consequences of being addicted to opioids, alcohol, and methamphetamines. We do this by assembling a collection of gallery-quality portraits and accompanying life stories, and by distributing these as broadly as possible: gallery / museum shows, a web gallery, a movie showing portraits and sound clips from interviews, an e-book, a physical book, even high school assembly programs.
For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit
Revenue model: We rely on grants and donations during the collection and production phases. During the dissemination phase, we anticipate sales of images, e-book, and assembly programs to offset costs.
Scale: We’re a start-up. The project started about February 1. Since that time we have created 28 portrait / biographies, with 5 more in the next two weeks. We have incorporated, and as of this date (4/3) have submitted for 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status. We have a functioning website, a 3 1/2 minute movie, and support from a number of drug-related organizations in the Cincinnati area.
Eric K. Hatch’s bio:
Eric K. Hatch, Ph.D., has lived in the Cincinnati area since 1974. He has had five careers: teaching, writing, communications management, organizational development consulting, and photography. As a fine art and travel photographer, Eric has won numerous awards and competitions. He has served on the board of the SW Ohio chapter of Professional Photographers of America, and he is currently Editor at Exhibitions Without Walls. His one-person show, “Hard Times for These Times,” has concluded its run at the Middletown Arts Center and is expected to tour several galleries in the coming year.
As a writer, Eric lists over 100 publications, primarily essays, articles, and features. He has won national awards for essays and for communicating technical information to non-technical people. His books include Business Writing for Professionals, Explorations in Photography, and one play, a stage adaptation of “My Man Godfrey.” Eric is a trained bass-baritone and is very active in choral music throughout the Cincinnati area.
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