Half a century later, drug-crazed painting wins art competition in Niles

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The winning piece was created in 1968 by Carl Dominic, inspired by a friend who spent time in prison

(WKBN) – A piece of artwork made 50 years ago by a man from Liberty recently won first prize in an anti-drug and alcohol art contest at the Eastwood Mall. But, it’s the story behind the picture that’s most interesting and the road it traveled to be declared the winner.

The Anti-Drug and Alcohol Art Show at the Eastwood Mall’s Art Outreach Gallery was the idea of Trinity Hobbs, a senior at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center.

“Last year, I lost my aunt to a drug overdose and a lot of people in my family deal with addiction,” Hobbs said.

The winning piece was created in 1968 by Carl Dominic, who had just graduated from Liberty High School and was a freshman at Youngstown State University.

“I just happened to see ‘Anti-Drug and Alcohol Art Gallery Show,'” said Tony Adduci.

Adduci grew up in Liberty with Dominic and now lives in Austintown. Dominic gave him the painting in 1985.

“I think I’m going to go with this and see if I can give Carl a little credit where credit’s deserved,” Adduci said.

The painting shows a man in a drug-crazed state surrounded by pills, money, bars and the letters LSD.

“I was just like, wow, this is really intricate. It has a lot of elements to it and a lot of different objects and I’m sure they all come together and tell a story,” Hobbs said.

It won first place in the two-dimensional category.

“I would have been more shocked if it didn’t, really. It’s that good,” Adduci said.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. As a matter of fact, I cried,” Dominic said.

At 70 years old, Dominic now lives in Virginia Beach, where he still has paintings hanging on the wall. He said the piece was based on a friend who was an addict who spent time in prison.

“The time he was in jail, that’s when I painted that. It was just because I felt sorry for him and he was a friend of mine and I thought it was right to paint it and put it down in history, you know?” Dominic said.

And 50 years later, we’re still warning people about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

“It does show you, things haven’t changed very much, have they?” Dominic said.

Adduci never told Dominic he was entering the painting in the contest until after it won.

It’ll be on display at the Art Outreach Gallery through Sunday. Then, Adduci says he’ll take it home and hang it up, unless there’s another opportunity to show it elsewhere.

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