January 10, 2008

Bancroft's paintings on display at Dunn-Richmond

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Known to patients at the Rea Clinic in Benton as Dr. Julia Bancroft, the Goreville doctor is also garnering attention for her artistic talents with an individual show of her paintings now on view at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center.

A collection of more than a dozen works of art of varying sizes comprises the Midwinter Art Exhibit at the center, located at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road. Mediums featured include watercolor, pencil, acrylics and photo and dyes. Striking depictions of nature highlight the exhibit.

"My art work is nothing deep and philosophical," Bancroft said. "It is purely sensual, inspired by my feelings of excitement toward the subject matter. The transcendence during work in progress and the thrill and relief when the piece is complete also contribute. It was enabled by an internal urge to create, which was built in at my birth. That remains undiminished even after countless years of scientific study and medical practice that share my time."

Bancroft has medical degrees in chiropractic, osteopathic and naprapathic from medical institutions including the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, and she's been a doctor for about 20 years, she said. For a quarter of a century, Bancroft also worked as a medical illustrator for Loyola University Medical Center. She holds certifications in acupuncture and nutrition as well. While working as a doctor at the Rea Clinic, Bancroft said she always keeps her art supplies close and ready for use.

"Fostering personal creativity is one key to maintaining a balanced life," she said. "Drawing, painting and photography are lifelong activities for me."

Bancroft's work has earned juried spots at Cedarhurst and various shows in northern Illinois. She is also the mother of three grown children who make her quite proud and "three amazing grandchildren," she said.

The Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and visitors may view Bancroft's works in the lobby area during those hours through Feb. 27.