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Mental Health America of Greater Dallas Celebrates the Arts

 

 

Mental Health America of Greater Dallas

Celebrates the Arts

Featuring FINE LINE: Mental Health/ Mental Illness

Voices, Stories and Portraits by Photographer, Michael Nye

Exhibition Reception + Artist Talk:  Thursday, April 10th at 6:00 pm

            Mental Health America of Greater Dallas will hold its 2014 MHA Celebrates the Arts event on Thursday, April 10th at 6:00 pm at Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development located on the campus of Southern Methodist University.  Proceeds from the event will benefit Mental Health America of Greater Dallas (MHA).  The 2014 MHA Celebrates the Arts is being partially underwritten by Al G. Hill Jr., The Hersh Foundation and Thompson & Knight LLP. 

Guests will have the opportunity to view approximately 38 black and white portraits taken by San Antonio-based photographer, Michael Nye.  The exhibit, Fine Line: Mental Health/ Mental Illness has traveled to over 30 cities and makes its debut in Dallas on April 10th.   Spending four years photographing and recording stories for Fine Line, Nye discovered how, in his words, “Mental illness touches the deepest parts of who we are: our identity, self worth….It can happen for no apparent reason and at any time.  Every person is vulnerable to mental illness.”  Ranging from one to five minutes, the recordings, which viewers listen to via headphones in front of each portrait, are intensely personal statements about fear and confusion as well as of healing and joy.  Nye asks that “each person coming into the gallery listen carefully.  Throw away your old definitions of mental illness and start over.  Listen to each story as if it could be you or your child or your friend or some stranger you will meet tomorrow in Dallas.”  Fine Line has travelled to over 30 cities and makes its debut in Dallas

Nye photographed each subject with a large-format camera, creating exceptional 20” x 24” prints.  Each portrait is accompanied by a recording made by Nye of the person telling his or her own story.  The experiences they share involve living with schizophrenia, depression, self-injury, alcoholism, prescription drug abuse, bi-polar, obsessive-compulsive and anxiety disorders.  As a whole, the exhibition draws attention to the tenuous threshold between stability and unbalance. 

David J. Chard, Dean of SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development, believes the exhibition is significant to all areas of study in the school, particularly to Simmons’ graduate program in counseling.  “The school is honored to be the exhibition venue for Fine Line,” he says.  “Michael Nye’s photography should provoke and inspire our students to strive to understand how mental illness impacts the human condition and how to work to prevent and treat it.”

MHA envisions a community that understands mental illness and supports people with mental illness in reaching their potential; a community where effective and culturally relevant mental health services are available and accessible to people with mental health problems; and a community that values and supports preventive and educational programs that promote mental health,” says Matt Roberts, President of MHA Dallas.

Residing in San Antonio, Michael Nye practiced law for 10 years before pursuing photography full time.  Recipient of a Mid-America National Endowment for the Arts grant in photography, and a Kronkosky Foundation grant, he participated in two Arts America tours in the Middle East and Asia, and has exhibited and lectured widely in museums and universities, including Morocco, India and Mexico. 

Admission to MHA Celebrates the Arts is $60. or two tickets for $100.  Ticket price includes exhibit and Q&A reception with Michael Nye.  In addition, valet parking, food and spirits including Heineken Premium Light are part of MHA Celebrates the Arts.  

Visit www.mhadallas.org  or contact Sarah Bayley at sbayley@mhadallas.org.  Tickets may also be purchased by calling 214-871-2420 ext.106.

 

Mental Health America of Greater Dallas (MHA) was established in 1947 and has been consistently serving the people of Dallas County and its surrounding communities for over 60+ years. The mission of Mental Health America of Greater Dallas is to lead the community in improving mental health through advocacy and education. 

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