The first exhibit of the year in the Central Lakes College Gallery on the Brainerd campus features snapshots of life, but not necessarily the good life.
Dick Bancroft, award-winning photographer from Sunfish Lake, has traveled the globe using his camera to capture the culture and struggles of his subjects.
His best works are displayed in the gallery at CLC through September and will be described by Bancroft in his programs at noon and 7 p.m. Sept. 27.
"A Glimpse of Latin America" is the title of Bancroft's show at CLC. It features images that resulted from his desire to tell the story of indigenous people of Guatemala and other Central American lands. In 1991 he was a volunteer driver for 1992 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tim upon her return to Guatemala after 10 years of exile.
"Dick was one of the first photographers in Panama after the U.S. invasion against Noriega," said CLC Spanish instructor Jan Kurtz, "and perhaps the only one to tell an uncensored story." Kurtz became acquainted with Bancroft in the late 1980s while writing her thesis on central America.
She said, "I was told he was the man to interview for current events, enthusiasm, passion and documents on the peoples and their plight of that time. He was all that and more."
Bancroft, 73, has also collected pictures of people in everyday activities while visiting daughter Carrie, who lives in Colombia. Another daughter, adventurer Ann of polar trek fame, is harder to follow in less-peopled corners of the globe.
A former real estate speculator who no longer needs to work to support his family, Bancroft has grown ever supportive of native populations. His is the cause of the Huaorani Indians of the Amazon, as well as the American Indian Movement.
Each photograph comes with a story. "Dick can tell you how he got the close-up of the military man, what the little child's house was like and how the oil company changed the lives of the Indians of the Amazon," said Kurtz, who with Liliana Hennis coordinates the Resource Center for Cultures and Languages of the Americas at CLC.
The images exhibited at CLC also provide a look into the eyes and beyond the face of a child of Africa, where Bancroft and his family lived more than 30 years ago when he worked for the Presbyterian Church. From his focus on African people has come intrigue with the African American community and the civil rights struggle that continues in the United States today.
The exhibit ends Sept. 27, when Bancroft will present a noon lecture as part of the Cultural Thursday series at CLC.
Admission is free to the Brainerd campus program scheduled for the Lecture Hall (E 354), as well as a 7 p.m. program that will be dedicated to peace and justice issues of Colombia as documented through the photographer's eye.
For more information, contact Kurtz at CLC at (218) 855-8183.
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