Petska Photo


The Art

Much of my work is a reflection of my interactions with forgotten spaces and objects: abandoned homes that still contain evidence of lives lived, as well as discarded, timeworn objects. I spend time familiarizing myself with the area and all that is left behind. I search for objects and spaces that are unusual in some way: weathered, broken, or out of place.  The ones I choose have a natural gravity, pulling in the viewer.  I use light, composition, and editing to enhance that effect. I translate my experience of the environment into my photos to show isolation, peace, sadness, or beauty.      

The environments have their own life, their own aura. Many homes are empty containers, while others teem with personal effects, as if the people living there simply vanished. Were the items remaining jettisoned to clear the slate and move on? Why leave this place to decay with disuse? What histories are contained in the walls? To whom were these spaces and items meaningful? Though I rarely learn the answers, the questions guide me. The secluded nature of these spaces allows for uninterrupted time to contemplate these questions and choose the best way to represent this space, to show the beauty and oddities. 

The Artist

Chad Petska grew up in Ord, Nebraska, on a family farm.  Art was always an interest and he grew to love photography while attending Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE.  There he drew on his experiences with rural life and the abandoned homes he explored with his family.  This became a strong influence in his photographic work.  

After finishing his B.F.A. in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography and Painting in 2006, he started teaching art in Lincoln Public Schools.  He finished a Masters of Art Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2014.  

He has continued his work toward several long term projects, including his Broken Homes series, and experimented with other types of photography techniques and styles while teaching with Lincoln Public Schools.  Exploring abandoned locations in Nebraska and learning about the history of those spaces still informs his work even as he starts to explore new ideas.

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    Copyright Chad Petska. Images may not be used without express permission.