MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Celebration of the Arts is a tribute to visual and performing arts in the community. The distinguished artist of the event is a photographer by night and a dentist during the day. He's been taking pictures for almost 40 years and has owned his own practice for even longer.
"It started out as kind of a relief of the stress of the office," said Mark Cox,
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cox spends his time filling cavities and performing root canals.
"Staying in one place kind of fits me," said Cox.
In fact, he's owned the same practice in Midland since 1977. Cox has known since high school that dentistry was the job for him.
"I've always liked to make stuff and do stuff with my hands," he said.
That same love of creating, brought a new hobby into his life right after he started his career.
"I got a kit for doing pictures in the mouth, taking pictures of teeth, soft tissue things that might be unusual that I might want to make a record of," said Cox.
Shortly after, Cox switched from teeth to the outdoors.
"I hardly ever photograph people."
"You're around people all day," we asked?
"Very very closely. I love doing dentistry but you just have to get away from it," Cox added.
Every now and then, the dentist in him still comes out through his art.
"It's just like X-raying a tooth really," said Cox.
He's been using an old x-ray machine to take pictures of seashells.
Now, Cox goes out to workshops and travels across the country and is also taking classes at Midland College to brush up on his skills.
Cox refuses to use any digital cameras. Instead opts for film and even develops the photos in his home.
In the past, Cox has served as president of the Arts Council of Midland and is now being recognized as a distinguished artist.
But with a job in dentistry, taking pictures is just a getaway.
"I don't do it to sell it," said Cox. "I do it because I like it."
The 34th annual Celebration of the Arts event will take place next Friday at the Wall Street Lofts and continue through the weekend. The event will feature local artists, hands-on activities, demonstrations and a performance.
The Dates are as follows:
To find out more information, visit https://acmidland.org/celebration-of-the-arts/.