Mark McDonnell is not new to the art making process. He has spent the last 30 years as a designer and remodeling contractor. His work has inspired him to create functional art pieces. “I am able to channel artistic vision through finding solutions, whether in a commercial or residential setting.”
Remodeling is all about design. He started in the business through the evolution of experiences growing up but enjoyed solving problems for people. McDonnell believes that the root of problems is usually with the design. “You can look at something that looked like it had good design but the ability to enhance that person’s life makes the design not good.” This is where McDonnell’s art comes in. His furniture is unique but at the same time functional. The pieces could be stand a long works of sculpture or have a purpose in the home.
McDonnell works with local wood that has been milled by local sawers. This is his way of recycling: instead of the wood getting chopped into firewood or rotting in a landfill, he takes it to become beautiful works of art. Often times, on many of his work projects, he will find old wood that could be used. For his piece, Compresh, the legs are entirely made out of Purple Heart wood that was salvaged from removing a bathroom. Usually, the materials come first before the concept. McDonnell asks himself, “How can I take this piece and showcase it in some fashion to show everyone else what I already see?” He uses different species of wood rather than making a monolithic piece. If a person walked into his studio, he/she would see 3-5 projects going on at a time. It keeps him focused.
McDonnell’s audience is “for people who say yes to art.” It is for the people who appreciate art and want to see it in their home. McDonnell’s work is one of a kind and can’t be compared or found in any other stores. The pieces he creates cause a reaction and/or evoke an emotion. He wants his buyers to want art and to have a passion for his work.