Art Chowder January | February 2017, Issue 7 - Page 16

FROM THE FARM TO FIFTY FACES: Renowned international photographer and artist Marshall E. Peterson Jr. surely understands the definition of diversification, and certainly knows how to capture it! Marshall’s second fully illustrated book “Spokane Fifty – Faces Shaping Our City’” was recently published, and we’re about to discover who those faces belong to, how they got in his book, and learn more about his “Marmot.” But first, a little background on Marshall, a Spokane native with an ambitious flair for global adventure and culture. “I grew up in Spokane Valley on my family’s small farm known as a ‘hobby farm,’ where I worked alongside my parents tending the many animals we were rearing—including chickens, pigs, and I even recall we owned one horse. Alongside that I planted many rows of carrots, and recall the miracle of digging up potatoes. The days were long and the work was hard, particularly having to wake up every morning at 5am and hauling slop for our pigs!” But Marshall’s adventurous spirit and desire to spread his creative wings eventually drew him from his rural farmland environment to the highly contrasting vibrant surroundings of Guadalajara, Mexico some 14 years ago—after also visiting several countries including Europe along the way. “I wanted to experience the lifestyle, language and culture, not as an Ameri16 ART CHOWDER MAGAZINE can ex-patriot or foreigner, but rather living alongside the residents as a local and active member of the community. I’m fascinated and stimulated by languages, and have studied to become fluent in French and Spanish, so this would be very helpful in easing me into this transition.” As Marshall was embracing his new surroundings and attending many cultural events he wanted to catalog his experiences photographically, both to share with his family back home and also to create a journal of image memories capturing the various stages of his journey. He bought a digital camera and began building an impressive portfolio of photographs that eventually caught the attention of a local magazine publisher who invited Marshall to offer his skills and help illustrate and promote their new magazine or ‘zine’ as Marshall described it. It was at this point that Marshall transitioned from an avid photographic enthusiast to a bona-fide hired professional. He not only became the magazine’s official photographer but also its chief editor. Bands, artists and musicians were the primary focus of the magazine, and Marshall readily identified with the mission since he had also previously learned to play drums and percussion. He found himself shooting high resolution and often very