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January's Sanford Artist of the Month

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mike Leckband will be the featured artist at the Sanford Museum in Cherokee in January. Leckband currently has 35 of his favorite photos on display in the East Gallery at the Sanford Museum. Photo contributed
Starting Jan. 2, the Sanford Museum's will feature photos from Mike Leckband of Calumet as the January Artist of the Month.

Leckband will be displaying 35 photos, including several of his favorite photos of the Cherokee area in the Sanford Museum's East Gallery.

The theme of his exhibit is People, Places and Things.

"January is an exciting time at the Museum. For the last couple of years the Museum has been holding The Beauty of Northwest Iowa Photography Contest, which is a wonderful event that showcases many local photographers and their magnificent works. I wanted my exhibit to complement the spirit of that contest," stated Leckband.

Leckband has had a love of photography since his teenage years. "I've always been more of a drawer of cartoons and landscapes, but at the same time I've also been taking pictures. I was 15 years old when I got my first picture published. It's been kind of weird, for most of my life I've been know for my drawings and not my photographs, but in recent years I've been identified more with my photos and writing than by my cartoons or landscapes" said Leckband.

"My first love will always be drawing, but I've noticed that my passion recently has been that of photography. I don't know how it works for most artists, but for me, I see an image in my mind's eye and when you draw that image out, well it took days for me to be happy with my work. But with modern photography, I see that image I've been picturing in my mind within a matter of seconds. That kind of instant gratification is very exciting to me," said Leckband.

"It was hard for me to pick out which photos I wanted to show at the Museum. I've been working at the Chronicle Times for the past three - and- a- half years and over that time I've built up quite a number of photos. Going through every one of them was not an option, so I decided to just go with some of my favorites," said Leckband

"Most of these photos have been seen on the pages of the Chronicle Times and there are several that haven't ever been seen anywhere. I love to spotlight just how beautiful Cherokee and Northwest Iowa is. It may seem kind of corny to say this, but after all, we're in Iowa, so I feel justified in saying there is beauty everywhere and all I try to do is capture it, be it a stunning sunrise or a child smiling," said Leckband.

Leckband works mostly from his home studio in Calumet, but he can be found on most days on the streets of Cherokee with his camera in tote. His photos will be displayed during the month of January at the Sanford Museum, located at 117 E. Willow St. in downtown Cherokee.

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