On December 16, 2020

New mural aims to  inspire hope in recovering addicts

By Jean Stedman

Local artist Lopi LaRoe’s latest mural “Rise Up,” is painted near West Ridge Center, an addiction treatment facility in the Howe Center in Rutland City.

While it’s smaller than her 60-foot tall mural honoring Black Lives Matter painted this summer on Roots the Restaurant’s wall overlooking Center Street Marketplace Park, it is still commanding.

“Rise Up” is a portrait of a young girl, done in blue and gray hues with geometric shapes. It is meant to invoke structural stability and represent paths through life, LaRoe explained.

The mural is also near the CrossFit RisingStar gym owned by Robert DiTursi, who has helped to finance the work. In addition to a GoFundMe page, DiTursi has planned a virtual rowing marathon to raise funds on Dec.17.

DiTursi has observed how the opioid crisis in Rutland has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and hopes to be part of the solution encouraging addicts in recovery. He’s planning to open a local chapter of The Phoenix, a national program that uses physical activity to help people through recovery.

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