Oceanside artist Mark Jesinoski sees art as a bridge to the community — a means to connect, educate and form relationships.
Although his work stands powerfully on its own, he considers art to be an integral part of community building. According to Jesinoski, “Artists need to be mindful of their value in community and likewise, communities need to recognize the value of the arts.”
A native of rural Minnesota, Jesinoski grew up in a culture defined by hard work and community.
This background led him at the age of 20 to work as a surveyor at one of the world’s largest open pit coal mines in Wyoming.
Although quite isolated, it was here that he began to define his interests in both the arts and sciences.
After returning to Minnesota to complete his undergraduate degree followed by six years of graduate school in Utah, Jesinoski relocated to San Diego in 2008 to complete his Ph.D. in Psychology.
Throughout his journey Jesinoski has turned to the canvas to “make sense of it all.”
By the time he arrived in San Diego, he had been honing his skills as an artist for more than 10 years and was hungry for an opportunity to pursue his art more fully.
During the past five years Jesinoski has been steadily involved in the local arts community.
He has painted live at over 200 local art, charity, and entertainment events, often helping to raise funds directly with his work.
In 2009 he was integral in the founding of Mosaic Gallery in North Park, where his goal was to connect local artists with the community.
To date Jesinoski’s work has resulted in a major solo exhibition, being selected as a featured artist in the 2013 Mission Federal Art Walk, and most recently by signing with E.S. Lawrence Gallery in Aspen, Colorado.
In reflecting on his recent successes, Jesinoski is thoughtful about his journey. While grateful for his roots, he feels that limiting expectations are often placed upon the working class culture and too often keep very talented and capable people from pursuing their dreams. However, he also believes that the uphill battle has contributed to developing insight and skill integral to his success.
In considering his work, Jesinoski constantly reflects on the challenges that define him. He says, “This process, in a very organic way, really promoted the development of my skills and perspectives as an artist. I believe that had I simply attended art school, and sacrificed this process, the journey and outcome would have been far different.” For him, art is not just about creating an image, but more about the process and context that leads to a given piece.
Beyond the process, Jesinoski’s largest body of work titled “Aquaticus” focuses on water as a metaphor for change as it incorporates organic movement, highly layered paint, and bright color.
When asked about the subject matter, Jesinoski again dives into his history, “My artistic process has really been about pushing into the unknown parts of my emotions, biases, and fears – what people like to call the unconscious. I have noticed that over time this has allowed many insights to bubble to the surface. It wasn’t until several years into my aquatic series that I realized that I have always gone to water for comfort in my life. I grew up on the lake in Minnesota, I fished the rivers in Utah, and I always go to the beach when I need respite. But I never really understood this until I realized I re-created the experience in my work.”
Jesinoski believes his art is meant to help viewers think about how they negotiate adversity and change in their lives. He says, “The simplest piece of wisdom I hope my art conveys is to be like water, and allow the by-products of how you flow with the currents of life to define the outcomes of your experience.”
Jesinoski will have another opportunity to practice the lessons his art has taught him as he and his wife Ali are very soon expecting the birth of their first child – a little girl.
To learn more about Mark Jesinoski and how to commission an original painting, visit jesart.com.