Donated Day of the Dead Photos Go on Sale to Benefit La Biblioteca’s Programs
By Jesús Aguado
The heart of Mexico is San Miguel de Allende, while the heart of this city, many would argue, is the Biblioteca. Our organization recently caught the attention of international photographer Harry John Kerker, who has captured with his lenses the daily life of San Miguel in over 120 photos that he donated to support the library’s educational programs.
These photos are being exhibited at the library’s Café Santa Ana. The Biblioteca is making it very easy to buy a photo and take it home the same day.
The generous donation is perhaps not surprising: La Biblioteca has always been a magnet for people with good hearts. For example, a couple of years ago, expat Debra Broussard—who facilitated the recent donation by Kerker—first got involved with the Biblioteca when she thought of using it to find the history of a house she had purchased. The library not only helped her discover her home’s history but also the names of the prior owners. She even found paintings by the owners stored in the Biblitoeca.
This soon led to Broussard volunteering to catalogue all the Biblioteca’s art holdings.
“I became familiar with the Board [of Directors] because I was here frequently, up and down on ladders with a duster…dusting paintings,” she told Atención.
One thing led to another, and Broussard was invited to join the library’s board of directors.
Kerker, an American artist and photographer based in Los Angeles, is the recipient of over 100 national and international creative awards, including an Emmy nomination. He exhibits his work in the United States and México. You can see examples of his photographs at his website, https://www.harrykerker.com/
The Biblioteca is not the only organization to benefit from Kerker’s good heart. He is an active supporter of programs that introduce underprivileged children to art and photography.
Kerker donated his photos to the Biblioteca earlier this year. In December 2018, after putting on a local exhibition of his work, Kerker still had a large body of work remaining and decided he’d rather put it to better use than simply storing it. He approached Broussard and decided to donate over 120 photographs to the Biblioteca.
“I owe much of my success to the people in San Miguel,” Kerker says. “I decided what better way to thank them then donating my collection to support the Biblioteca and its community programs?”
Kerker’s donated photos include documentation of local Day of the Dead celebrations, San Miguel cityscapes, and a large collection of photos of local street performers and artisans. His style is best described as historic-contemporary, using contemporary subjects but casting them in muted color and sepias that create an almost timeless look.
Thirty of these photos were sold this past March in a silent auction during the library’s first-ever fundraiser. By the end of the event, all the pieces were snatched up by eager patrons.
Based on this success, the Biblioteca decided to put 30 more of Kerker’s photos on direct sale, a collection which is now on exhibit in the Café Santa Ana until November 15. This time, Broussard decided to narrow the focus and put on sale a number of Day of the Dead-related photos.
The pieces will go for very modest prices, Broussard added, emphasizing that all the sales proceeds will support the library’s educational and cultural programs for children. Patrons will be able to take Kerker’s photos home with them the very same day they buy them. Each photo will have an identification placard with an ID number that buyers can use to pay for the photo at the library’s Tesoros shop. Buyers will get a receipt from Tesoros that they then can take back to the café in order to claim their purchase.
For more information, contact Vice President Debra Broussard at email@example.com