Prechter daughter organizes photo show on ‘Resilience’

Michael H. Hodges
Detroit News Fine Arts Writer

Clarification: This story has been updated to amend comments by Stephanie Prechter about her father.

Creating art to combat depression, or at least help individuals find the strength to cope, is no easy task.

But that’s the charge “Images of Resilience” has taken on, a 22-person group photography show at the downriver campus of Wayne County Community College. And the results are often quite striking.

This is the second annual exhibition organized by Stephanie Prechter, daughter of the late automotive entrepreneur Heinz C. Prechter, that uses art to reach out to people who might be suffering.

It’s a subject with deep meaning for the 37-year-old.

Prechter's father died by suicide in 2001, and she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder the same year.

Since then, she’s made advocacy, research and outreach on depression her mission. Her hope is that “Images of Resilience” could help people find ways to resist.

“I just wanted to get away from symptoms and diagnoses,” she said. “We’re all dealing with something. Helping people build systems of resilience is critical.”

Photos on display include landscapes, abstracts and, in Kevin Curtis’ case with “Airtime,” a puppy in halfway through the arc of an exhilarating leap.

All art sales will benefit Southgate’s nonprofit Guidance Center, which sponsored the show and deals with mental health, substance abuse and community outreach.

One particularly moody shot is Sara Snyder’s “Resilient Spirit,” a picture of bright green shoots poking up through dismal-gray brick.

Also worth note is “A Message from a Friend” by Anne Fuller, which features a luminous monarch butterfly resting on a snow-white hand.

Appropriately for a show in the Motor City, a number of photographers used cars as metaphors. One of the handsomest is Vivian Henoch’s “Been There,” starring a weathered but venerable old Dodge.

Also striking is Henoch’s “Firewall,” a color study of complex plumbing systems.

Finally, utterly simple but surprisingly affecting is Kari Walker’s shot of the mosaic court at the center of Strawberry Fields in New York’s Central Park, a tribute to the late John Lennon.

The mosaic contains just the word, “Imagine” — which, in many ways, could act as the hopeful message behind this intriguing show.


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Twitter: @mhodgesartguy

‘Images of Resilience’

Through June 2

Heinz C. Prechter Educational & Performing Arts Center, Wayne County Community College — Downriver, 21000 Northline, Taylor

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Storytelling event at Prechter Center:

6-9 p.m., Tuesday

Storytellers: Michelle Fecteau, Jim Pinion and Emily Schaller