The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

Mark Gleason

Aside from teaching graphic design and art history, art teacher Mark Gleason also creates oil paintings. Gleason’s passion for fine arts has existed since his youth. When he was younger, he would participate in kids’ art shows. Now, his art is featured in exhibitions around the world, ranging from locations such as Los Angeles to Murcia, Spain. “My first serious art exhibit was in college and [my art exhibits] have continued on,” he said. “[My career has] been getting bigger as I go. I’ve been very lucky with that.”

Gleason starts the painting process with an evaluation of his motivations and an inquiry into different themes that can be portrayed. These subjects are what he continues to explore in the process—which he believes is more valuable compared to the result. “I try to tap into very different perspectives,” he said. “The images I’m making will speak to others, and [while] some do, some might fail. It’s very much about growing and seeing things.”

Through his art, Gleason hopes to leave a lasting impact on viewers. Gleason promotes his artwork on his Instagram account, @markgleason, and his website, “[When] the work gets seen, I am acknowledged for what I’m doing,” he said. “It gives you kind of an afterlife.”

A challenge to Gleason’s artistic pursuit is finding quality time for it. “Sometimes you need a solid block of hours to work in solitude and not have other thoughts,” he said. “I wish I had more hours in the day to work on it.”

In the classroom, he reconciles painting and teaching other forms of art. “My paintings can
take place when the bell rings and I go home, and I walk into the classroom with a lot of energy and knowledge,” Gleason said. “It’s nice to do something close to [my passion], but a little different so that my instinct is fresh.”

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