booth-56-mark-lewanski-mary-simcoxSelf- taught glass artist Mark Lewanski of Portland, MI holds a materials engineering degree and worked two years in the Detroit auto industry before creative restlessness and disillusionment with the corporate world prompted him to leave to pursue a career in art. In 1999, he spent seven months in Italy studying art, language and history, and returned with an appreciation for the fine glasswork of Venice.  Listing artists such as Dale Chihuly and Lino Tagliapetra as inspirations, Lewanski set out to reinvent a whole artistic medium, stained glass, by approaching it in a way no one had before. He strived to  undo everything he knew about the art of stained glass, discarding the traditional soldered appearance of Tiffany styled lamps and windows and opting instead to use modern adhesives to give his work a clean, contemporary appearance. The result, his trademark stained glass boxes, were a huge success. His current functional and non-functional stained glass mosaic pieces are a step further in his goal of revitalizing a moribund art form.  He sells his work at top ranked art fairs in the Midwest and Florida, and at over 350 galleries nationwide. He has also had his work appear on the Oprah Winfrey show. He lives and works at his studio in a century old commercial building in Portland, Michigan.