Vitae

Mark Roy Bleshenski
mark@bleshenski.com :: www.bleshenski.com :: facebook.com/mbleshenski

Studio artist working in a variety of mediums including glass, wood and mixed media.  Independent study of techniques in glass fusing and casting, flameworking.   Current work focuses on re-purposing of discarded bottles into multi-media sculpture.

Artist Statement

I have always been fascinated with common found objects made by man and reshaped by the forces of time, man, and nature. Wind, waves, sand, sun, machines, hands, all working together to decompose the item, returning its elements to nature. I gather these relics and artifacts, envisioning ways to integrate them into my work. A piece of iron, or wood, a brick, a bottle, an old tool. Anything is fair game for inclusion.

My work references culture by the juxtaposition of these everyday items with other objects. Some of the artifacts have strong cultural, even cross cultural and international importance by themselves. A coke bottle is an iconic symbol used on a daily basis around the world. I manipulate and combine these objects with constructions, into something completely new and hopefully unexpected and intriguing to the viewer.

In my current work, I manipulate common glass bottles so they maintain their recognizable origins, but flow and bend in unusual ways as if they were compacted like soda cans. I am deconstructing the vessel and reconstructing it as a new form. In some cases the vessels become metaphors for the shell of the psyche, while other objects represent cultural influences and social issues. In other cases, it is purely an experiment with form.

Web and Social Media Sites

Selected Bibliography

  • MURZE Magazine: 'Climate Action' article - April 2019 
  •  MFSM Regional Biennial Juried Sclupture Exhibit 2018 - (Marshall Frederick's Regional Biennial Juried Sculpture Exhibition)
    https://youtu.be/u8FBvqzFen8
  • The Valley Vanguard - Biennial juried exhibit showcases local artists - September 16, 2018 - (Marshall Frederick's Regional Biennial Juried Sculpture Exhibition)
    http://www.valleyvanguardonline.com/biennial-juried-exhibit-showcases-local-artists/
  • ArtPrize 2016 Top 100 public favorites: Installation entries - Mlive, September 27, 2016
    http://www.mlive.com/artprize/index.ssf/2016/09/6_shares_artprize_2016_top_100.html
  • Hyperallergic.com, After Flint Water Crisis, Police Murders, and More, Midwestern Artists Get Mad - Mlive, August 24, 2016
    "The grief, anger, and betrayal felt over the situation in Flint, articulated by artists throughout the region and the nation, is expressed in Re:Formation through a multitude of media... and, arrestingly, in "Plumbum," a large-scale installation by Bay City artist Mark Bleshenski. The piece, which dominates the center of the gallery floor, is a collection of water samples from Flint, tagged with locational data and displayed in myriad oddly warped vessels atop raw wooden stools of varying heights."
    https://hyperallergic.com/317058/after-flint-water-crisis-police-murders-and-more-midwestern-artists-get-mad/
  • How Midwestern Artists Push Back, React, repair, and 'RE: Formation', by Athena Cocoves - Toledo City Paper, August 2016
    "Some artists take time to meditate on the issues- and others use the visibility of the art object to bring awareness to unseen problems- like Mark Bleshenski, from Bay City, MI, who brought over 60 jugs of contaminated water from Flint for his installation titled 'Plumbum'."
    http://www.toledocitypaper.com/August-Issue-1-2016/How-Midwestern-Artists-Push-Back/#Arts & Entertainment
  • Gallery Project drops a politically-loaded art-bomb for their fourth annual exhibition. By Sarah Rose Sharp - Detroit Art Review, August 8, 2016
    "The largest piece in the show is a sprawling installation by Mark Bleshenski (Bay City, MI), Plumbum, located in the middle of the showroom floor. The installation, which draws its name from the Latin word for lead (because lead was used in plumbing in ancient times), collects 100 water samples from Flint faucets into various receptacles, and arranges them into clusters atop two groups of meticulously crafted wooden stools of various heights. The craftsmanship and object repetition is aesthetically engaging – it is a carefully assembled collection, with many forms and colors present – and even playful, as some of the vessels are warped into unexpected shapes and some of the liquids contained within are bright Kool-Aid colors. It is only as one draws near enough to see the data tracked on each vessel that the scene shifts from madcap collection to mad science."
    http://detroitartreview.com/2016/08/gallery-project-reformation-toledo/
  • RE: Formation Part 1, by K.A. Letts - Rust Belt Arts, August 8, 2016
    https://rustbeltarts.com/2016/08/08/re-formation-part-1/
  • 'Re: Formation' addresses social issues through art, by Roberta Gedert - The Blade, August 4, 2016
    "The Flint water crisis - where the government failed to properly monitor the water supply from the river, resulting in thousands of citizens being exposed to high lead levels - is a resounding theme in the gallery, including a large display of glass jars and bottles filled with water from Flint faucets, an essay about water's involvement in every aspect of life by artist Mark Bleshenski. Manipulated and distorted bottles represent the effects of the lead's toxicity; data from lead measurements taken from homes there are labeled across some of the bottles as a reminder to the viewer of the seriousness of the breach."
    http://www.toledoblade.com/Art/2016/08/04/Re-Formation-addresses-social-issues-through-art-Exhibit-captures-mood-mobilization-of-the-disempowered.html

Other

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2019 (September) 50 Artists of the Great Lakes Bay Region. (Juried)
  • 2019 (August) ArtWalk - "Tentorium Botanica" - CMU University Art Gallery.
  • 2019 - State of the Arts Exhibition 2019 (Juried), Saginaw Township Art in Public Places, "Vessels 1"
  • 2018 ArtPrize - "Climate Changer"
  • 2018 ArtWalk - "Climate Changer"
  • September 20 - November 10, 2018 - Studio 23 All-State Exhibition (Juried), Studio 23, Bay City, Michigan, Artwork: "Penny Jar" and "Plumbum" 
  • June, 2018 to September, 2018 - Regional Biennial Juried Sculpture Exhibition; Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum; Saginaw Valley State University; Saginaw, Michigan, Artwork: "Seaform"
  • February 3, 2018 -  An Exploration of Social Media Art Show,  Group Show, Cerasus Studio, Grand Rapids, Michigan "Tweet don't Chirp"
  • November 1-25, 2017 - Show Me The Money (Juried), Huron Valley Arts Council, Highland, Michigan "Penny Jar"
  • October-November 2017 - PostPrize 2017 (Invitational), Frames Unlimited, Grand Rapids, Michigan "Seaform"
  • September-October 2017 - ArtPrize 2017, Keeler Gallery, Fountain Street Church, "Seaform", Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • August-September 2017 - Art Walk Central, CMU University Gallery, "Seaform", Mt Pleasant, Michigan "Seaform"
  • June 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016 - East Side Art Show, Venue: Anton Art Center, St. Claire Shores, Michigan, Artwork: "Plumbum", Award: Honorable Mention
  • June 4, 2016 to September 17, 2016 - Regional Biennial Juried Sculpture Exhibition; Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum; Saginaw Valley State University; Saginaw, Michigan, Artwork: "Tweet Don't Chirp"
  • 2016 - 'Re: Formation' (Invitational), Gallery Project, Ann Arbor Art Center, Artwork: "Plumbum", Reviews: See Publications.
  • July 1, 2016 to August 13, 2016 - Real American (Juried), Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, "Penny Jar"
  • August 1, 2016 to August 30,  2016 - 'Re: Formation' (Invitational), Gallery Project, Toledo, OH, Artwork: "Plumbum", Reviews: See Publications.
  • August 20, 2016 to September 10, 2016 - Art Walk Central, Art Reach of Mid-Michigan; Mt Pleasant, Michigan; Helios Art Gallery, Artwork: "Plumbum", Award: Jurors Top 10 List
  • September 21, 2016 to October 9, 2016 - ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, Michigan, "Plumbum"
  • September 23, 2016 to December 23, 2016 - Greater Michigan Art Exhibition (Juried), Midland Center for the Arts, "Seaform"
  • 2015 - ArtPrize 7, Venue: Fountain Street Church, "Inverse Effect"
  • 2014 - ArtPrize 6, Venue: Fountain Street Church, Jurors shortlist for top 5 venues. , "Penny Jar, Rebel, and Tweet don't Chirp"
  • The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario
  • The Detroit Artists Market, Detroit Michigan
  • 1995 - Modern Liturgy, Vol 2, No 9 -Visual Art Awards honorable mention
  • 1980's - Michigan Glass Month Show participant
  • 1987 - Corning Museum of Glass - SGAA International Competition and Exhibition, Corning New York, "Silicone Chip"
  • 1987 - Image/Light and Structure - http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/35238751/image-light-structure-87-show

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Penny Jar 2018 - Studio 23, All-State Exhibition, Juror's 3D award
  • Plumbum 2016 - ArtPrize, Fountain Street Church Venue - Jurors Special Merit Award
  • Plumbum 2016 - ArtWalk, Art Reach Center, Jurors Top 10 Picks
  • Plumbum 2016 - East Side Art Show, Honorable Mention
  • 2014 - ArtPrize, Fountain Street Church, Jurors Short List for top 5 venues

Selected Professional Experience

  • 2018 - Art show juror, Studio 23
  • 2016 - Guest speaker for breakout session at Kaleidoscope: Reflect. Recharge. Reimagine. Conference at Kellogg Center, Michigan State University
  • 2016 - Selected as one of a group of artists in various disciplines for a Master's Thesis on The Artistic Creative Process, by a graduate student at Central Michigan University
  • 1981-2008 - Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Markroy Studio, Pinconning, Michigan Designed and built stained glass windows for churches, businesses and homes throughout Michigan using leaded glass, Faceted glass and cast glass. Sizes ranged from small works to hundreds of square feet. Did independent experimentation with fused glass and cast glass autonomous art pieces.

Education

  • 1980 to Present - Autodidactic Studies and Experimentation with glass as an art medium.
  • 1983 - Glass casting classes at Center for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan
  • 1979 - Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, BA, Human Environment and Design.
  • 1978 - University of London, London, England, Decorative Arts and Architecture Program
  • 1973 - 1976 - Apprenticed with Roy Diamond Smith, Diamond Art Glass Studio, Pinconning, Assisting with production of stained glass windows.