CHESAPEAKE BEACH, MD – August 23, 2023 – The Twin Beach Opioid Abuse Awareness Coalition (TBOAAC) has made significant strides in the final selection round of their Overdose Awareness/Memorial Sculpture Project titled “Their Lives Matter.” After an initial scoring of the sculpture applications, four artists or artist teams have been selected to move on to the next phase of the selection process. The final sculpture design will be announced at the TBOAAC Glow Vigil on August 31, 2023, at the North Beach boardwalk pavilion.

In the second round, each finalist was awarded $1,500 to construct a scale model of their sculpture and present their artistic concepts to the selection committee. The models were showcased at a small reception held on August 18, garnering praise for their fabulous designs.

Upon announcement of the winning sculpture design, the artist or team will be granted a one-year timeline and a budget of $30,000, pending funding approval from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) 2024 Public Art Across Maryland Grant Program, to complete the sculpture. The full-size sculpture is set to be unveiled in its permanent location at the Mark R. Frazer Sunrise Garden in North Beach, MD, on August 31, 2024.

Photo of sculpture finalists (left to right): Ali Mirsky, Christopher Duffy, Thomas Sterner, James O’Neil, and Gary Jameson.

The TBOAAC Sculpture Project aims to raise awareness and pay tribute to those affected by opioid abuse. In a collaborative effort, TBOAAC has joined hands with the Maryland State Arts Council, CCHD Local Behavioral Health Administration, the Town of North Beach, and the Town of Chesapeake Beach to support this endeavor.

Sandy Mattingly, TBOAAC Sculpture Project Coordinator, and Town of Chesapeake Beach Councilman Keith Pardieck, TBOAAC Chair, oversee the process, working diligently to ensure the project comes to fruition.

The initiative is not only a step towards heightening opioid abuse awareness but also a move to involve the artistic community meaningfully. By providing a platform for artists to showcase their talents in a socially relevant context, the TBOAAC Sculpture Project promotes artistic engagement with a broader social cause.

The announcement of the winning design on August 31 will mark a significant milestone for the community in its fight against opioid abuse. Both the TBOAAC and the entire community eagerly anticipate the unveiling of the chosen sculpture, which will stand as a permanent reminder of the struggle, loss, and resilience related to opioid abuse.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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