Uncommon exhibit at Library gives multi-cultural voice to Pelican area residents—plus photos

How has your life been different than you imagined? We can all answer that question. It seems like life never takes the road that you expect.

The Voices and Visions of Resilience project is on display at the Pelican Rapids Library through the middle of February. It focuses on stories and art that illustrate the concept of resilience. 

This colorful image, right, is an excerpt from two of the banners displayed at the library, created at the 2022 Friendship Festival.

It is based on four questions that we asked of the people who participated in the project over the summer of 2022.

  • How has your life been different than you imagined?
  • Can you tell me about a time that was hard for you?
  • How did you get through that time?
  • What are you most proud of?

People volunteered to be a part of this project. Lance and Bonnie Albers, and Joan Ellison interviewed 24 people on video. 

This exhibit introduces you to those folks – an image from each interview video and an answer selected from the interview. 

Deb Wallwork, who is working on a film of the project, selected the image from the interviews and transcribed all the interviews. You may use the QR code to view each person’s complete interview. 

The complete interviews are also available at the Visions and Voices section of the Multicultural Committee web page at www.pr-mcc.org or on a tablet at the library. 

Ask to use the Voices and Visions tablet at the front desk.

Dozens of interviews from last summer, along with photos, have been selected for a special exhibit at the Pelican Rapids Public Library. Chuck Krekelberg, Joan Ellison, Cynthia Zavala, Oleander Chupylka, Iqra Mohamed, Wayne Runningen—just to mention a few. The “Resilience” video interviews are posted on the Pelican Rapids Multicultural Committee website.

During the Pelican Rapids International Friendship Festival last June, artists Nancy Valentine and Adam Satterlie guided people as they painted their answers to one of the questions. 

The red banners on display here were created by fiber artist Katy Olson using the original paintings by adults and children. One banner illustrates personal narratives around career choices, life experiences, and times of importance in a person’s life. The other theme was of home, leaving home, loving home, making a home, and what it means to have a home. 

Click on the image above to view the “Resilience” video interviews on the Pelican Rapids Multi-Cultural Committee website.

It’s not too late for you to contribute your voice or vision to this project. The study carrels in the center of the library are equipped with notebooks, pens, and markers. Pick a page, and write down your name (If you want to) and the date. Then tell or draw your answer to any of the questions. We are all resilient; show us your story.

This project is funded in part by a grant from the Unitarian Church of Underwood and by the voters of Minnesota through grants from Lake Region Arts Council from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, the Unitarian Church of Underwood, and by the Pelican Rapids Multicultural Committee.