Mark Lewanski was a kindergartener when his passion for art was first ignited. Before his teacher had the chance to introduce students to shapes, Mark had mastered spheres, cubes and pyramids. He became fascinated with these three dimensional shapes, and spent hours drawing and shading them in.
As Mark got older, his interest in the arts continued to soar. He’d pick up books and study the greats, including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. There was no question he dreamed of being an artist –– it was all he wanted to do. After taking art courses throughout high school and college, Mark earned a degree in material science and metallurgy, not realizing his newfound engineering expertise would directly impact his work as an artist later in life.
“Back in 2000 I was so dissatisfied working for other people’s projects that I quit my job and decided to do art,” Mark says. “I traveled around Europe for seven months and came back and got into glass because my wife’s family business was a glass factory.”
As he explored the possibilities of glass art, Mark had an epiphany. His background in engineering could be an integral asset to his work. His vision required a lot of technical expertise, especially for weaving glass. The large pieces he planned to make also called for mechanical knowledge for mounting and handling them at scale.
“There’s no one really doing exactly what I do,” he says. “I realized if you applied a little bit of engineering and a little bit of cleverness, it could be done on a really large scale with more intricate detail and made vastly amazing.”
When Mark saw the opportunity to bring his idea to life, he spent a couple years honing his technique, including creating the right molds to make the woven glass. The response to his art was immediate, and he’s become a staple in art shows throughout the country, from west coast festivals in Bellevue and La Quinta to shows in Miami and Chicago. But the Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale holds a special place in his heart.
“I do every major art show in the nation and I’ve never been to an event with more talent or with more experienced, seasoned professional artists than I’ve seen here,” he says. “It’s a really gifted group of people.”
See more of Mark’s story in the video below: