Mark Polege, Highland Member Since December 2007 Artist Statement Photography first found me after the tour of my new high school in St.Louis, Missouri in the mid 1980’s. While borrowing an old Pentax K1000 while my Minolta X370 was on lay-away, I skipped my study halls to learn the basics in black & white photography from one of the teachers during my freshman year. This included everything from composition to film development and printing. Though this initial spark was set, it only sprang up periodically over the next 15 years.
After years of traveling and moving around the country and living for a period of time on the west coast, photography became my therapy during a low point in my life. After leaving St.Louis I returned to my parents in 1998, now in rural North Dakota. Less than thrilled by the cultural adjustment, this grounded me like nothing else. In the wide open spaces of North Dakota, especially the back roads, I became fascinated by all the old abandoned places I discovered. The old farms and houses intrigued me both for their historical sense as well as how nature and the elements had shaped and molded them over time.
With some locations untouched for decades by nothing else but time and nature, I felt the overwhelming need to record the things I was finding. I remember thinking, “I have only seen a wagon like this in old westerns,” and here it was right in front of me. Searching for more of these traces of fading history became my obsession and my passion, a passion I was driven to capture on film.
My already existing appreciation in architecture was ignited to my photography while working for a short period of time with a local photographer in Fargo. The work of Bill Kloubec, a commercial and architectural photographer relocated from NYC, opened my appreciation to shooting architecture and urban landscapes. After working with Bill, I continued to search out these rediscovered places and build my portfolio. I knew eventually I would return to my perceptual home of St.Louis someday, and after 4 years in North Dakota, 2 short years later I finally did.
This coming Spring I will be placing even more of my work on display both here and in locations around the Greater St.Louis area. Signed & framed prints will be available periodically around St.Louis while unsigned and framed prints will always be available here. Thank you for the visit and Enjoy the View...