BJU alumnus, professor, local artist, father and husband – all these describe Mark Mulfinger. On Monday, Sept. 21, he will present an art exhibition in the Sargent Art Building. His theme is the three sister mediums: watercolor, reduction linocut and batik. He chose these three because unlike other mediums such as acrylic and oils these all move from light to dark. “[I’m] trying to show the glory of the ordinary,” Mulfinger said.
One of Mulfinger’s main mediums is batik, an Indonesian art form in which Mulfinger takes a piece of muslin cloth, sprays it with the lightest color he’s using and then covers the colored parts in wax. He repeats this process with all the other colors until the picture is done. The result is a look similar to a stained glass window with light colors and cracks in the wax. Mulfinger says the amount of batik paintings he is bringing is what will make the show unique.
Mulfinger and his 10 siblings grew up in Greenville, more specifically on the BJU campus. At the age of 7, he started taking art lessons and later attended the University. He graduated with a B.A. degree in 1984 and two years later with his M.A. in studio art. After graduation, Mulfinger taught various art classes at BJU for eight years. Reminiscing over his years spent at BJU, Mulfinger states, “I think they get it, that before Christians could change culture they must first have some.”
It was while he was teaching at BJU that Mulfinger realized his need to pursue art full-time, “It didn’t make sense at the time because I really wanted to be a servant. I didn’t want to be selfish.”
Mulfinger, his wife, Leah, also a BJU grad, and their five children continue to live in Greenville where Mark has a local studio and does freelance work fulltime. His surroundings impact his art. Although he’s traveled abroad he always ends up back in Greenville, and he always knew he’d be back at BJU showing art someday. “I love the place and coming back home to me isn’t that foreign.”
Mr. Kevin Isgett, head of the Department of Art in the Division of Art and Design, says Mulfinger’s work is unique because he works from who he is— his family, his interests, music, Europe, West Greenville houses and landscapes. They are pictures you recognize and can easily associate with. “It’s easy to like,” Isgett said. “It’s rooted in expressionism [and] realism.”
Check out his collection Sept. 21 – Oct. 8 in the Sargent Art Building.