See Mark's painting, Grassy Island Rocks, that won First Place Painting at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair!

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About Mark Granlund


I am fascinated by humans and our great capacity to invent meaning and then continually adapt meaning for our changing purposes. My goal is to make work that speaks to situations that are both societal as well as aesthetic with an antecedent in the history of art. My goal is to follow that small voice that connects and organizes input while redistributing my output. My goal is to strive for a definition of my self that I have had glimpses of since I was a child and that is becoming more full with each art piece I make. I trust that I will become that self that I have been seeking before my time here is gone.

In practical terms, that means I explore my personal diet through representational paintings and I paint the landscapes that inspire me - the nature that sustains me spiritually and intellectually.


I have always been an artist, as long as I can remember. I have always drawn and painted and made things. As a kid, I used to draw scenes of mayhem and awaiting disasters for guys who would bike across a page. In junior high I made my first painting - a dragon. In high school, my art teacher let me develop my own art classes, and in my academic classes I doodled in all my margins instead of taking notes. I went to college to study art and eventually got my Masters of Fine Art in New York City at Brooklyn College.

I have been painting oil paintings and watercolors ever since. I have taught art for many years, created public art pieces, coordinated programs, organized exhibits and been fortunate enough to sell my work.

One day in 1993, I called the local zoo and conservatory and told them they should have an artist to teach classes and paint images of the park. They agreed with me and asked me to come teach art. From 1994 to 2003 I was the Arts Program Manager at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory and established the education department. In this capacity, I coordinated art and gardening classes and programs for adults and children and managed public art projects at the zoo and conservatory.

In 2001, I established the Botanical Arts and Illustration Certification program at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

From 2005 to 2016, I was the Arts and Gardens Program Coordinator for the City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation. In this capacity, I oversaw the design, planting and maintenance of the public gardens of Saint Paul, MN. This includes 300 garden beds, 160 planters and 500 hanging baskets. I also oversaw the maintenance of the public art collection of 70 statues and sculptures.

Since the fall of 2016, I have been the Public Art Administrator for Metro Transit, overseeing a collection of more than 70 public art pieces.

Other than painting, writing and gardening, I am an occasional caretaker of an island on the U.S./Canadian border for the Ernest C. Oberholtzer Foundation.

Proceeds from the sales of my landscapes support the Ernest C.Oberholtzer Foundation.


For those interested in such things, you can view my resume here.


If you would like to receive a monthly newsletter about my paintings, what's happening in the studio and my thoughts on art, please sign up in the pop-up window..


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Description from Merchant:

For Paintings: Many of the still lifes of food are painted on cradled wood panels. The landscapes and all other paintings are painted on stretcheded 10 duck canvas. I make my own stretchers and wood panels in a wood shop attached to my studio. The wood substrate is made of pine or poplar and is cross-grained to prevent warping. The canvas and panels each receive three layers of gesso before being painted. After completion, each painting receives a protective varnish. The canvases, generally, have the images wrapped around the sides. I make my own canvases and panels to assure that, if framed and displayed properly, my paintings will last for generations. For prints: All prints are on archival 100% cotton fine-art paper. The paper has a smooth natural texture, is a sturdy 15 mil. thick and uses no optical brightners. Printed with archival water-resistent inks that will not fade for a hundred years, when properly matted and framed.

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