Join the Bainbridge Public Library for the May 2023 First Friday Art Walk, featuring artist Mark Johnson

Library LogoThe Bainbridge Public Library is dedicated to spreading the joy of reading and the discovery of ideas with not just our local community, but with visitors from near and afar. In addition, the library is fortunate to house beautiful local works of art both inside and outside the building. Each month the library celebrates a local artist (or artists) with an exhibit, which opens monthly on the Island’s First Friday Art Walk tour, and includes a reception hosted by the featured artist.

The Bainbridge Public Library is proud to present an exhibit by artist Mark Johnson

Mark will host a “meet and greet” from 5pm-7pm on Friday, May 5th to open his new exhibit, “Misconceived” for First Friday Art Walk

Andy's Etch A Sketch and Toastmaster Censorship by Mark Johnson - BPL May 2023Mark Johnson grew up in the Pacific Northwest and spent four years in Seoul, South Korea in the 1960s before returning to the U.S. and settling in Boise, Idaho for a time. He holds degrees in both Architecture and Construction Management. He and his wife, Wendy have lived on Bainbridge Island, in the same house, for the past 29 years—a house he’s lovingly improved over the years, drawing upon his experience in both construction and design.

It was this experience that eventually led him to create art, something he didn’t embark upon until later in his professional life. As Mark put it, he’s a bit of a late bloomer to the world of art, only having started about 9 years ago. “I have always loved building things, big and small.  I like cutting, drilling and connecting objects and when I didn’t have a substantial project like building a garage, I began creating art. Art is easier on the back than remodeling an entire house or building a dock,” he explained.

His pieces are for the most part “sculptural assemblages”, which he classifies as a cross between Folk Art and DADA. He’s self-taught and doesn’t maintain any connections with the traditional art world. “I know I have a lot to learn about fine art. In keeping art a hobby, rather than a profession, making lots of mistakes is easier to accept and learn from,” he said.

Mark and Wendy recently retired, and although they’ve embraced their newfound time with travelling and the preparation and celebration of their daughter’s marriage, Mark admits that “art has mostly filled the void of no longer working.”

Organ Transplant image courtesy of Mark Johnson - BPL May 2023
Organ Transplant by Mark Johnson

“Since retirement I’ve completed pieces that are more time consuming and complicated. In October I celebrated my first real commissioned piece, an 8-foot-tall outdoor sculpture using organ pipes titled ‘Organ Transplant’. I’ve done more on canvas and realize that I have a lot to learn about painting techniques,” he told me. “I’m better at the mechanics of putting things together, thus the leaning towards assemblages.  At times I am working on three or four pieces simultaneously, with them occupying the dining table, kitchen counter and pool table. While Wendy is surprisingly ok with that, she is more concerned about where I might hang the next piece with no wall space left available.”

Mark is inspired by found objects that he comes across on construction sites, salvage yards and the like. He occasionally uses canvas, but prefers using wood, metal, stone, glass and a variety of other odd objects.

Marks “Pieces in the Yard” are equally as eclectic and interesting as his wall and sculptural art. Such as a stone bench held up on one side by a large spring, or Cairns, created with blue glass bottles intermixed with a stack of stones – equally appealing are his two large stones with a vinyl record album suspended in the middle.

1080+Cork+Board by Mark Johnson
1080 Cork Board by Mark Johnson

On Mark’s website, he lists his art as “Not so Fine Art”, I’d have to disagree on the “not so” part, as I perused the site, many pieces jumped out at me and I spent quite a bit of time studying them and interpreting them in my own way. I was particularly taken with a few pieces, such as the “1080 Corkboard” and his piece, titled “B Flat” which is intriguing and whimsical.

You can view Mark’s work on his website, at: Mark Johnson (

Mark’s work can be viewed during the month of May in the library meeting room and on the library website,

A portion of sales is donated to the library.

As always, thank you for supporting your Bainbridge Public Library and local artists. If you have interest in exhibiting your work, feel free to contact Linda Meier, art coordinator, at

*Library content and images provided by Linda Meier, Bainbridge Public Library and Mark Johnson.

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