PULLMAN – Zach Mazur grew up in flatland farm country. As a boy in Crystal Lake, Ill. — known for its corn, soybeans and dairy cattle — Mazur played in barns and fields that today are crowded with strip malls and subdivisions.
What began as his nostalgic effort to capture images of a fading lifestyle has grown into two striking black-and-white photography exhibits. “Farmscapes: A rephotographic survey of rural Illinois” chronicles changes over time in McHenry County, Ill., while “A Recent History: cultural and historical landmarks of the rural Palouse” documents historical markers throughout the Palouse region.
Mazur, assistant curator for the WSU Museum of Art, came to Pullman in 2004, in part attracted by the farmland. As he traveled around the area, he began taking photos of lonely historical markers and crumbling landmarks — which quickly became the basis for his master’s thesis.
“It’s a little scary,” said Mazur. “We’re starting to see the same changes here in the Palouse that took place in Illinois when I was really young. You see businesses creeping out along the Moscow-Pullman highway — that’s how it starts,” he said.
“A Recent History” has been exhibited at the Riley Gallery at Notre Dame and the Ping Yao International Photography Festival in China. Mazur received a 2007 Washington State Artist Trust grants for artist projects award, allowing him to continue work. “Farmscapes” has been exhibited nationally since 2004.
Mazur’s photographs are showing through Oct. 23 at the Esvelt Gallery at Columbia Basin College in Kennewick. Sculpture by Nickolus Meisel, assistant professor in fine arts, also is on display there.
For more information or to view additional photographs, see Mazur’s website ONLINE @
Scenic overlook, facing south 2005
Smith barn, 2007
Vegetable Stand, 2003