Visual Art

Capturing the Land

library gallery features landscape artist Marcus Clark

Haley Wright, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

IT TAKES A VILLAGE. Rice Lake artist Marcus Clark’s new show runs at the L.E. Phillips library April 17-May 24.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE. Rice Lake artist Marcus Clark’s new show runs at the L.E. Phillips library April 17-May 24.

Celebrated local artist Marcus Clark is about to begin his third art show at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library – a show called American Landscapes, set to run April 17 through May 24  – and he said he’s very excited about the exhibit and all of the new pieces he will be displaying. Clark is well-known in the Chippewa Valley for working across many different media, and he has shown his pieces at places such as Banbury Place and our own Volume One Gallery.

Clark, a primarily self-taught Rice Lake-based artist, works with tons of different materials. He said he enjoys rag rug weaving, stone sculpture, woodworking, wood carving, architecture, and painting. He also has a deep appreciation for work like gardening and cooking.

Clark notes, however, that painting may be in his genetic makeup. “The inspiration to paint and be creative, I believe, is generational,” he said. “One of my aunts told me that my painting came from one of my great-uncles. After searching family archives, I found a number of generations of artists from the colonies back to Europe.”

Clark has known his calling from an early age. “One memory I have from early childhood, I saw a print from the artist Raphael of the Holy Family in a children’s Bible. This painting gave me such a feeling of relief that my heart knew in that moment, in the soul of my mind, that I wanted to paint pictures.”

His inspiration for painting landscapes began in childhood by seeing painted landscapes in books at school and in the places he traveled with his family, from the Rocky Mountains to the prairies to the Northern Wilderness. He attributes the inspiration for the specific pieces in this show as being from traveling and photography.

“When I left home I hitchhiked to some of the places I always wanted to see across the states to New England, Canada, and around all the Great Lakes down to the American Southwest and Mexico.”

As the show’s title, American Landscapes, would suggest, many of the pieces included in the show depict landscapes. But each piece varies from very colorful depictions of village life to more muted scenes. Some may find it surprising then that the artist’s favorite piece in the show is not a landscape at all. “My favorite piece is ‘Farmboy and his Dog.’ I like the idea of line and space, earthtones with simplicity. This idea I got from early Chinese ink paintings.”

The LE Philips Memorial Public Library is hosting a Meet the Artist event for Marcus Clark as part of the American Landscapes art show on Thursday, April 21, from 7 to 8:30pm.

Marcus Clark has a website which includes a portfolio section featuring many of his pieces, an opportunity to purchase prints, and more information about the artist. Visit classicalamericanart.com.

Journey Ahead

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