Born in St. Catharines, Ontario in 1955, Mark F. Elliott attended the Elliot Lake School of Art, the Halliburton School of Art and the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University, as a Studio Major. During the course of his studies, he has worked under painters John Leonard, Ronald Bloore, Claude Breeze, Andy Fabo and Paul Slogget; multidisciplinary artists, Vera Frenkel, Ian Baxter (N.E.Thing Co.), and Don Mabie (Chuck Stake Enterprises) and art historian, Roald Nasgaard. Mark graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a Specialized Honors in the Visual Arts, as a Studio Major in 1978. He received the Heinz Jordan Memorial Scholarship in his final year.
Emerging from art school in 1978, Mark entered the art scene in the midst of the punk culture phenomenon. His early works reflect this influence, fused with an interest in 1960’s British Pop Art, 1940-50’s Pre-Pop American Art, Dada and Constructivism. Later, after traveling Europe in the early 1980’s, these works increased in scale and depth, evolving into large-scale installation works.
In the mid 1980’s, Mark’s work transformed as he concentrated on wall hung painted constructions. Viewed as if paintings, these works display a fascination with the depth of the visual plane, an interest in the manipulation of the viewer through composition and were an attempt to find a manageable, yet meaningful scale.
By 2006, Mark's interest in new urbanism, his concern for the health of the inner urban core of his home community, and his understanding of the need for municipal resources and funding for Culture, inspired a run for City Council. He was consequently awarded a four year mandate by the City’s residents, which was renewed 2010 and again in 2014, for a second and third term. He has worked tirelessly as a cultural advocate and promoter for the creation of a new creative economy for the City of
St. Catharines, and the Region of Niagara as a whole. He was directly involved in plans to develop Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts to downtown St. Catharines. He was intimately involved in the conception, development, design and construction of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre within the City’s core. His involvement in development of the Creative Cluster Master Plan for Downtown St. Catharines, envisions a social, economic and cultural renaissance for the City’s core.
Mark's ongoing interests in the written word, notions of perception and reality, popular culture, social justice, philosophy, international and Canadian politics, and art history continue to impact the form and content of his work.