MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) — A powerful art gallery is hanging up now in the hospital halls of UW Health.  

Artist Paul Smith, a recovering addict, used his talent for painting to create life-like acrylic portraits of 20 individuals, during quarantine, over the last three and half months.   

He said some of the people pictured are recovering addicts, but you would never know just looking at their faces.  He says that is the goal of his effort. 

"It’s all about trying to communicate in a more efficient and compassionate way, they are struggling, fighting emotional battles that we know nothing about," Smith said.

UW Health Art Coordinator Mandy Kron wants everyone to see the work. Despite hospital visitor restrictions, she created a special virtual tour of the exhibit.  She said she knows the powerful art show is important for everyone to see.

"It's causing people to have dialogues about what addiction is and the experiences they have had," Kron said.

All money raised supports Chandra’s House of Hope, an addiction recovery facility for women in Madison. 

Smith said selling the paintings for this purpose was the right thing to do.

’I'm delighted, I feel very warm and inspired about what we have accomplished here," Smith said.

Those interested can see the Facing Addiction virtual gallery, from Paul's Facebook page here.