She got a chance to see the healing effects of art up-close-and-personal when she took part in a 2016 internship offered by Washtenaw Community College in which she shadowed art and music therapists at the University of Michigan’s Cancer Center.
As part of the program, she photographed patients during their care and shared her photos with them. “I gained a deeper understanding for the cancer experience on the whole; visiting with patients and their families witnessing infusion appointments and sharing about photography,” she said. “The arts truly transport people, and I think it did just that during these extremely trying times.”
Next, Prechter plans to find a way to blend her passion for mental health with her art.
“I'm hoping to continue my work with suicide prevention as that seems to be my life's work and do so using art as a medium,” she said. “I've found that the Great Lakes Project is a vehicle for me to connect people with nature and a sense of purity. It's an ideal way for me to share about tools such as resilience and compassion in a non-clinical setting and garner a responsibility to each other and to our lakes.”
Her commitment to mental health through art is behind another partnership with PeaceLove Studios, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people create peace-of-mind through art and storytelling. Prechter was invited to share art with PeaceLove in 2010 and her story in 2016. “I love their approach to wellness and the way in which they integrate mental health with creative expression,” she said.
American®Frame has helped Prechter in her own creative expression for the last couple of years. “When clients place orders, I drive down [to their Maumee, Ohio showroom] and depend on them for all my needs from printing to matting to framing,” she said. “I choose them because they are relatively close and I have good relationships with Shelby, Christine, Lindsey, and April. They do a wonderful job, and I am appreciative of their kindness and professionalism.” She said she tends to keep her framing and matting simple, but urges other artists to follow their own instincts. “I'm learning that each image is its own,” she said. “What works for one, may not work for another.”
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