PHOTOS AND STORY BY BEN GUMERINGER
Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II, professional athletes, riots, politicians and protests are just a few people and events that have graced the lens of Regene “Reggie” Radniecki’s camera.
Radniecki’s photographs have been published in Life magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angles Times, National Geographic’s World Magazine, Time Magazine, Business Week and Forbes, just to name a few.
Some of these photographs are currently on display in the mass communications hallway in Flora Frick. The opening reception for Radniecki’s exhibit took place April 10 to which students and members of the community were invited.
“I am really pleased with how the photographs look all laid out,” Radniecki said.
The display of her work was made possible with the help of her colleagues, particularly Mark Strand.
“Mr. Strand helped to put this all together,” she said. “He is an amazing person … He did all of this. He fell in love with the project.”
“A blind man could have laid out Reggie’s work,” Strand said. “It’s that good.”
Radniecki’s obsession with photography began at age 11. Her father was working in Greenland and often sent home packages. In one was a Kodak Brownie camera for her, which she immediately fell in love with.
Her youngest brother was her favorite subject to photograph. All that practice eventually helped her to earn a photography award at a young age.
Radniecki decided to attend Bemidji State after graduating from high school. After a short time there, she chose to make a change and go to the University of Minnesota. That was when she really became serious about photography, especially photojournalism.
She worked for the daily student newspaper on the University of Minnesota campus where she had over 300 photographs published. She greatly enjoyed her time at the student newspaper and the opportunity she had to do what she loves.
After her graduation she took a position at The Star Tribune. She said the publication would often “buy her ideas,” which allowed her to travel and take photographs.
“If you could come up with a good idea, they would buy it and we would just go,” said Radniecki. She loved nothing more than traveling and taking photographs.
After more than two decades at The Star Tribune, she decided to go to graduate school at Ohio University. Radniecki later became a part of the MSUM family in 2000.
“Reggie was super helpful to students,” said Jesse Trelstad, former student of Radniecki’s. “She would keep pushing us to apply for jobs … She wants you to do good work, as long you want to try hard.”
After 14 years at MSUM, Radniecki has decided to retire, making this semester her last. She will be moving to northern California and plans on writing her family history and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in her free time.
Reggie was/is an amazing teacher and such an influence and inspiration to so many students. Thanks for the great story, Ben.