If you havent discovered the Fifth Corner Photo Gallery at the Durango Arts Center, add it to your list of resolutions. Its an easy one to check off.
January is a great time to do it, because former National Geographic photographer Dean Conger is the featured guest artist this month. Fifth Corner owner Kathy Myrick, also an accomplished photographer, has maximized the small space for a surprisingly comprehensive retrospective of Congers 40-year career with the magazine. Conger will attend Fridays opening reception.
Born in 1927 in Casper, Wyo., Conger spent nine years at the Denver Post before joining the National Geographic Society as a staff photographer in 1959. His assignments took him all over Europe, Asia and the United States.
He made more than 30 trips to what was then the Soviet Union, photographing for National Geographic and for the National Geographic book Journey Across Russia.
Named Newspaper Photographer of the Year three times during the 1950s, and Magazine Photographer of the Year in the 1962 Pictures of the Year competition, Conger also received the National Press Photographers Association Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award in 1987 for a lifetime of outstanding work in photojournalism. Wyomings Casper College and the University of Wyoming honored him as a distinguished alumnus.
He served as assistant director of National Geographics Photography Division, later directing its Audiovisual Services Division. He retired from National Geographic in 1989, and now lives in Durango with his wife, Lee.