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Meet the Artist: J (Joan) Pogalies

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Photo montage printed on large metal panels.

A family cottage on the shores of Lake Erie is where I live and produce my photo art. I don’t have to go to exotic locales. I photo document dramatic and subtle views from my backyard and neighborhood: Lake Erie sunsets, cloudscapes, waterscapes, sandscapes, icescapes, driftwood. My art records the science and the nature from frilly ice “lily pads,” to waves spraying up red from the sunset, to Kelvin Helmholtz rare cloud formations, to a bump on a log, and everything in between. I combine images, rearrange them, turn them upside down, flip-flop them, and have them printed on large metal panels from 1ft x 5ft up to 4ft x 5ft...and growing! (They can also be printed on any size paper.)

From across the room they are abstract bands of colors, Rorschach patterns, mirror images of (almost) recognizable scenes and objects. Look closely; You’ll discover tiny worlds within...faces, dancers, body parts, insects, robots, spines, open portals inviting you only by an imagination.

Plus, almost daily, for more than three years, I have been photo-documenting the Arcola Creek Estuary, one of the last remaining natural estuaries in Ohio and one of only two on Lake Erie. I take the same 360-degree series of photos from the same spot year round, stitch them together digitally, stack and arrange the strips in chronological order with the date on each one, and have them printed on 3ft x 4ft metal panels. This eco-docu-art represents nearly 3,000 single images on 9 large panels showing the intimate daily changes of the Arcola Estuary.

A visual ode: In these uncertain and fragile times, I want to show the changing natural beauty around us and share my images that they may reflect, enhance and instill confidence in the viewers’ own power and beauty and changes, spark joy and curiosity, and inspire a responsible community with a hopeful perspective of nature and all of us in it.

J Pogalies

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