Artist Bio


My name is Amber and one of my lifelong  passions is art!

I grew up in a creative family. There are cherished family photos existing of my much younger self sitting on my Great Grandmother’s lap, finger painting purple glazes onto her blank ceramic tiles. Some of my earliest memories are of watching my father spending hours tattooing clients in our living room and of my mother finding creative ways to make our meager living spaces feel like a warm cozy home. Many of my aunts, uncles and cousins also have creative skills of their own from ceramics to photography to beautiful woodworking. Talent in the arts runs in my family.

The Arts have always been my salvation and a way to communicate what I am often not comfortable to put into words. 

I was trained as a Printmaker with a minor in Art History during my undergraduate studies at Memphis College of Art (MCA) and as an Art Educator for my graduate studies at the School of Visual Arts (SVA).

Shortly after graduating from MCA I took different direction from Printmaking. Toward the end of my undergraduate education I had realized that what I enjoyed most was not making multiple prints of a single image; but staining  papers with tea and then using them to create mix media drawings with. Years later, when I took up a job that often kept me on the road for several months at a time in different hotels every night, I added digital photography to my creative process. The digital camera was the perfect outlet for a creative starved Amber away from the comforts of a studio.

While this page is dedicated solely to my documentation of American Rural Decay, you can also see some of my other photographic adventures and non-photographic artwork by visiting my other blog Chasing My Shadow

That is me in a small nutshell! Please feel free to ask questions or just drop a line and say hello. 🙂


2007 MAT, School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York City, NY
2003 BFA, Memphis College of Art (MCA), Memphis, TN


2011 Ellarslie Open XXIX, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ                                                                                               2009 Passing Strangers, Café Ole, Trenton, NJ
2009 Soul of Brazil, Robbinsville Library, NJ
2009 Where I am From, Gallery RFD, Swainsboro, GA
2009 International Photography, Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO
2009 Current Exposure, Gallery 125, Trenton, NJ
2009 Ellarslie Open XXVII, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ
2009 Salon De Refuse III, Artworks Gallery, Trenton, NJ
2009 Sun & Shadow: The Soul of Brazil, Solo exhibit, Trinity Gallery, Trenton, NJ
2009 Mercer County Artists, MCCC Gallery, West Windsor, NJ
2009 It’s All About the Art, New Hope Art Center, New Hope, PA
2007 Portrait of an Artist Teacher, SVA Gallery, New York, NY
2007 Salon De Refuse I, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ
2007 Ellarslie Open XXV, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ
2007 Mercer County Art Show, MCCC Gallery, West Windsor, NJ
2006 Ellarslie Open XXIV, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ
2005 Ellarslie Open XXIII, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ
2003 Memphis College of Art BFA Exhibit, Memphis, TN
2003 Horne Island exhibit (19), Memphis, TN
2003 MCA Print Show, Memphis, TN
2003 MCA Student Council Juried Show, Memphis, TN
2002 Horne Island exhibit (18), Memphis, TN
2002 Southern Graphics Print Exchange, New Orleans, LA

2009 Viewers Choice Award, – Center for Fine art Photography, Fort Collins, CO

2002, 2003 Horne Island Artist Workshop

Princeton Packet – Salon des Acceptances – May 11, 2007

Hijack Your Head – Who The Hell is Amber Palecek – July 14, 2014

New Orleans Museum of Art
Southern Graphics Council Archives


Guest Lecturer, Depauw University: Women Studies Department, Greencastle, IN; March 2012                                     Museum Assistant, Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, Trenton, NJ; Nov 2004 – Jun 2006
Gallery Volunteer, MCCC Art Gallery, West Windsor, NJ; Feb 2004 – May 2005
Muralist, Bear Creek Assisted Living, E. Windsor, NJ; Nov 2003 – Mar 2004
Studio Assistant, MCA Paper and Print studios, Memphis, TN; Feb 2001 – May 2003


15 responses to “Artist Bio

  • Marcia Mayne

    Amber, I hadn’t read your About Me page but it explains all. If you don’t already, you’ll soon have enough material for a book. (Art is one of my passions – I used to run a couple art galleries and represented artists. I’ve also been in the book business.) Could you get a grant or some kind of funding to do this across the US? It’s a thought.

    • palechickstudios

      Hello Marcia!

      I have thought about looking for a grant to help fund this project, but I honestly don’t even know where to begin. The few that I have come across were very specific and not meant for what I do. If you have any ideas or suggestion on the subject I would love to hear them!

      Thanks again!


  • Marcia Mayne

    Hi Amber,
    Can’t think of anything off the top of my head but there should be. I’ll keep my ears open. Will let you know.

  • José Carlos Marques


    My name is José Carlos Marques and I’m responsible for the website SHAREMAG.NET – a nonprofit website that intends to present and reveal authors and artistic projects.
    I saw your work, and would like to invite you to present it on SHAREMAG.NET. Please visit it and let me know if you’r interest to:

    Thank You.

  • Max

    Hello, i saw your site when I was doing research on Wyoming for a story. I found your Table Rock selections and proceeded to read many of your other stories. Fantastic. Am interested in more about Table Rock. I also noticed you said you were going to the Czech Republic, where I live. Perhaps that already happened, but if it didnt… please get in touch! Anyway if you could give me an email address (sorry if I didnt notice it somewhere here) I have some other ideas and questions. Many Thanks for great, interesting work. Max

  • johndellenger

    Linked your site from travbuddycom. I like your expression through the abandoned house series. Feel free to chat on facebook also if you like. To a safe, and whimsical journey.

  • Kate Brom

    It was so nice to meet you today Amber and hear about your art journey! I have posted about you on our facebook, please take a look when you get a chance and see all the ideas community members have been posting for your photographic journey! Enjoy!
    -Kate Brom, Pendleton Center for the Arts, Outreach Manager

  • buggabreathes

    Hey! I absolutely love your pics of abandoned places. Simply gorgeous. I also love the narratives that accompany the pics. You’re quite a good writer. It’s obvious that it comes naturally to you. Please, please, please keep it up!

  • daniellepalecek

    Amber, I love you and your blog. I know you’re not writing about books, but I nominated you for a Liebster Award anyway 🙂

  • c grimm

    Amber, I enjoyed your Table Rock pictures. I used to teach in Wamsutter and drove by Table Rock twice a week, had students from there, co-workers, and knew several families that moved in and out over the years. I just returned from a trip after being away more than 25 years and discovered the only thing remaining is the gas station/store. Everything else is gone seemingly relegated to anonymity and left to be reclaimed by the desert. Good to know someone has some pictures posted so you can see what it once represented. Tipton is no more, Red Desert is closed, Bitter Creek also appears to be obliterated. Thanks for the preservation.

  • Patty Tyler

    Thank You Amber, I live in the Table Rock Village is what we call it back than. Seen my house that I sent 7 years in and 2 children..

  • Ellis Girrard

    Just read your story about Table Rock, Wyoming!..used to live there so this was interesting to me..thanks for the story and pictures

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