Current Exhibition



The photography of Mark Dierker

An artifact is defined as an object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest. For the last 25 years I have been exploring the rural ruins of farms, homesteads, schools and churches across the United States. The artifacts that are left behind…old bottles, an enameled cook pot repaired with a screw and washer, an upright piano…all give me clues about the lives of the people who once lived and worked in those places. The works in this show are a sample of the artifacts I have found across the Midwest but especially across Central Illinois. You might see some you recognize.

Opening Reception | May 5     6:00-8:00 pm


Artist Biography

Mark A. Dierker – Bear Dancer Studios

When I was 12, my Dad gave me a fixed lens 35mm Yashica camera he had bought on one of his trips overseas with the Marine Corps. He encouraged me to go out and explore the world through the lens of my camera. That was the start of a lifelong journey and the first of many cameras that have seen me though living in 9 different states, journalism school and a 25 year career in the publishing industry. In 2005, I started Bear Dancer Studios to showcase my art photography. Since then, my work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions in 37 US States and 4 countries including a photograph in the permanent art collection at Carl Sandburg College. I now split my time between a family farm near Rushville, IL and a second home in Dubuque, IA.