Stephen F. Austin State University

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Mental health/mental illness photography show to open at SFA's Cole Art Center

February 24, 2009 - Sylvia Bierschenk
Michael Nye's "Beth," a 20 by 24-inch silver gelatin print, will be included in the photography and audio recording exhibition "Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness" that will open at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts, School of Art and Nacogdoches Community Collaborative will open a photography exhibition, "Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness" at 6 p.m. Friday, March 6, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, 329 E. Main St. in downtown Nacogdoches.

The exhibition by San Antonio based photographer Michael Nye combines black-and-white portraits with audio recordings of the subjects' stories in an effort to confront stereotypes and reveal the courage and fragility of those living with mental illness.

The photographs' simple eloquence and the various stories draw the viewer closer into each life by addressing and exploring topics such as family, confusion, pain, abuse, treatment and healing, explained Christian Cutler, director of SFA galleries.

"We are pleased to be partnering with the Nacogdoches Community Collaborative on this exhibition and to welcome Michael Nye to the opening," Cutler continued.

Nye has had more than 70 one-person photography exhibitions in museums and galleries such as the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Arthur Roger Gallery in New York City and the Tampa Museum of Art.

He has been a recipient of a Mid-America National Endowment for the Arts grant in photography and a Kronkosky Foundation grant and been a participant in two Arts America tours in the Middle East and Asia. He has lectured widely in Morocco, India and many museums and universities.

"Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness" is supported by the Nacogdoches Community Collaborative through a grant from the Texas Health Institute. It is sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

The exhibition will run through Sunday, March 29. Regular gallery hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission to the opening and gallery is free. For more information, please call (936) 468-1131.