It’s in your genes : Serenity Baird

Junior Serenity Baird’s powerful art project “It’s in your genes” raises awareness about the impact of addiction on families and the importance of quitting addiction


Erika Lepesha

Senior Serenity Baird arranges jeans, clay, pill bottles, and syringes to create a visual representation of addiction and generational trauma. As she worked, memories of loved ones struggling with addiction flooded her mind, fueling her determination to break the cycle.

    Junior Serenity Baird created an art project with a very personal and meaningful message. Growing up, she witnessed addiction and its effects on her family and felt the need to address it. 

    While working on her project, Baird felt a sense of purpose and healing. She believed that her art could raise awareness about addiction and its impact on families. Baird hoped that by creating this piece, she could help break the cycle of addiction in her own life and the lives of others. Upon completing her work, she stood back and admired it, feeling proud of what she had accomplished.


    “The art piece is a representation of breaking the cycle of addiction and the associated generational trauma,” Baird said.


    The artwork serves as a visual representation of the harm that addiction can cause to families. The artist wanted to raise awareness about this issue, and the piece was created to help spread this message.


    Baird’s creativity shone through as she went beyond the project parameters to create a meaningful and thought-provoking art piece titled “It’s in your genes.” The piece showcases her artistic skill and innovative design. The title itself is a powerful statement that speaks to the heart of what the artist is trying to convey. By playing with the words “genes” and “jeans,” Baird connects the physical passing down of clothing from one generation to the next with the intangible passing down of addiction from one family member to another. To create her project, she gathered materials like old jeans from her grandmother, clay, empty pill bottles, and syringes. She also used a mirror, sewing supplies, a dollar bill, and fiber paste.

The use of empty pill bottles and syringes in the artwork serves as a stark reminder of the harm that addiction can bring.


    “I used empty pill bottles to symbolize the use of prescription drugs, which can lead to addiction, while the syringes represent the use of drugs like heroin that can cause severe harm to individuals and their loved ones,” Baird said. 


    The artwork incorporates the placement of these items next to the jeans to highlight the impact of addiction on families and to stress the significance of addressing addiction as a public health concern. Additionally, the use of a mirror in the project serves as a representation of self-reflection and introspection.


    The artwork incorporates sewing supplies and a dollar bill to symbolize the potential for growth and change. The sewing supplies represent the ability to repair broken relationships, while the dollar bill signifies the potential for financial stability and independence. These items are included to convey the message of hope for individuals and families dealing with addiction.


    “The artwork serves as a reminder that recovery is attainable and that one can make positive changes in their life,” Baird said. 


    The artwork incorporates fiber paste to add texture and depth. Baird uses it to create a sense of movement and flow, emphasizing the idea that addiction is a dynamic and evolving issue. The tactile quality of the artwork encourages viewers to engage with it physically.


    “It’s in your genes” is a compelling portrayal of how addiction affects families and the significance of breaking its cycle. The use of everyday items such as jeans, pill bottles, and syringes makes the issue more relatable and tangible. The mirror, sewing supplies, and dollar bill signify the potential for positive change and growth. Overall, the project emphasizes the complexity of addiction and the need for a multifaceted approach to address it. It also serves as a reminder that recovery and healing are attainable with the right support and resources.