Mark Glavina, a pioneering figure in the Vancouver arts community, is an established artist, teacher, illustrator, and muralist. After studying graphic design and illustration at Capilano College, he turned to developing his own art practice during the 1990s, focusing primarily on portraiture to address a wide variety of social issues. Above anything else, Glavina remains deeply committed to communicating his passion for art. In 1997, he opened his first retail location and four years later opened Phoenix Art Workshop, which offers art classes to students of all ages, and also organizes excursions abroad in partnership with the Travelling Brush. An experienced traveller in his own right, Glavina never leaves home without his sketchbook, since by having it at hand he was “invited to people’s homes and made lifelong friends around the world while gaining insight into other cultures.”
In this series of watercolours, the artist captures urban scenes teeming with life and vibrant colours. Fritanga Kitchen presents a glimpse into a bustling kitchen in Nicaragua, with cooks preparing food in a large pot underneath dim hanging light bulbs for a customer attentively examining their preparations. In Casco Viejo, Glavina depicts in the foreground an individual in a red shirt pushing a cart in the middle of the street underneath the shade of a towering building. The white van coming in towards him, the figures ambling by at left, the brightly coloured buildings, and the distant clothesline glimpsed from the upper story of a residence all serve to convey a certain degree of energy and realism. Paris Morning similarly offers a fascinating insight into city life, with passersby gathering at a street corner underneath the blue awning of a flower shop, with towering trees and quintessential Parisian buildings dominating the composition. Central Park presents instead a small view of El Retiro Park in Madrid, which stretches over a hundred hectares and boasts an interesting collection of statues, such as this seated female figure found at the extremity of the colonnade encircling the monument to King Alfonso XII. Passionate and deeply engaged in community art events, Glavina is the mastermind behind Chalkg the monument to King Alfonso XII. Passionate and deeply engaged in community art events, Glavina is the mastermind behind Chalk the Boardwalk and the Grand Prix of Art, an international painting competition inviting artists to paint en plein-air against the clock.