Fine Line, Mental Health/Mental Illness
in 2003/2004 and had its debut opening at the Witte Museum
in San Antonio, Texas.
Fine Line has traveled
to over 30 cities, including the following:
San Antonio, Texas - The Witte Museum (click here to view pdf)
New Braunfels, Texas - New Braunfels Museum of Art & Music
University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte, Florida Mental Health Institute
Grand Rapids, Michigan - The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
San Antonio, Texas - Conference of Southwest Charitable Foundations, Inc
Naples, Florida - Collier County Public Library
Washington, DC - SAMSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
Abilene, Texas - The Grace Museum
Reno, Nevada - Nevada School of Medicine
Reno, Nevada - Northwest Reno Library
Houston, Texas - The Houston Center for Photography
Las Vegas, Nevada - Mojave Mental Health Services
Fort Worth, Texas - Science & History Museum
Georgetown, Texas - Southwestern University, Fine Arts Museum
Newark, Delaware - University of Delaware
Honolulu, Hawaii - Honolulu Academy of the Arts
Wichita Falls, Texas - Museum of Art
Marquette, Michigan - Peter White Public Library
Plainview, Texas - MHMR - Wayland Baptist University
Lubbock, Texas -Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts
Austin, Texas - State Capital Building
Columbia, South Carolina - Center of Contemporary Art
Michael Nye acknowledges and thanks
The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation for their
exhibit is dedicated to Shatzie Crouch
and her son Kerry Crouch
1. Mental illness is not caused by a weakness of character.
2. Mental illness is treatable.
I don’t know where mental health ends
and mental illness begins. This exhibit is about the Fine Line
that moves through all of our lives as we weave our ways forward.
It is about the recognition of our vulnerabilities and the fragility
Mental illness is often about fear, fear
of ourselves and fear of others. Each of the fifty-five individuals
in this exhibit tells a story. What is forgotten is lost. These
narratives are about remembering, about time and light, taking
apart and putting back together, losing and finding, and holding
on for balance.
These stories are not intended to summarize
or explain anyone’s life. We all carry a thousand stories.
There are many ways a voice can turn.
Mental illness is too wide, deep and complex
to define. The U.S. standard reference for psychiatry includes
over 300 different manifestations of mental illnesses. It is painful
to be labeled and misunderstood.
Scientific explanations speak of neurotransmitters,
serotonin, receptors, medications and about the mysterious genes
we each inherit, carry as gifts or burdens, and pass on to the
next generation. We are the vessels in an intricate network of
Mental illness touches the deepest parts
of who we are; our identity, self worth, the inability to communicate,
confusion and loss of control. It can happen for no apparent reason
and at any time. Every person has a chance of becoming mentally
The response to mental illness is wanting
and waiting. It is ultimately about redemption, sadness, humility
There is an urgency for action. Today, as
a result of mental illnesses, hundreds of thousands of our citizens
including the homeless and incarcerated do not have financial
support for care and treatment.
Anyone who has been to these deep places
knows something important and valuable. I thank all the individuals
in this exhibit for their courage and for being our teachers,
for enlarging and illuminating our lives.
I ask each person coming into the gallery
to 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