SOS Berks Dedicates 2nd Recovery-Themed Mural

The SOS Berks Opioid Coalition dedicated their 2nd recovery-themed mural on April 18, 2024.

The mural, titled The Journey (El Viaje), is located at 11th & Richmond Streets, on a highly visible building owned by Albright College. More than 50 people attended the dedication ceremony, which took place inside the Albright’s public art studio at the Total Experience Learning Building, where parts of the mural were painted.

The Journey, was designed by Reading artist Marian Njai and digital designer Gregory Didyoung, under the direction of Mural Coordinator Mike Miller. It is based on the recovery story of Yvonne Stroman, who discussed with Marian the many joys of life in recovery from substance use disorder, which includes bicycling, journaling, helping others in recovery and mentoring young people. Yvonne’s inspirational quotes about her journey of recovery loop through the artwork, which incorporates hand cut stencil patterns, many of which resemble bicycle-themed images, so that the theme of the journey is reflected in even the smallest details.

The artwork was painted partly off-site, while the largest portion was painted directly on the building. The process involved hundreds of community volunteers.

SOS Berks hopes to install a series of murals in Berks County that focus on recovery from substance use disorder. The murals expand on a stigma reduction campaign that SOS Berks created several years ago, promoting the theme “Addiction Doesn’t Define Anyone.” The first SOS Berks mural, Mi Recuperación, Mi Familia, was completed in 2023 and is located at 9th & Oley Streets in Reading. That mural depicts the importance of family in the recovery story of Jose Lugo.


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