Mark Rooney, Hazleton, Pa. Member Since June 2007 Artist Statement Following a life-long interest in art that began during his childhood, Mark Rooney began painting seriously in 1975. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1981 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. in 1983. He also spent a semester studying art in Rome, Italy in 1980. Since 1983, Mark has combined a painting and teaching career that together form the nucleus of his artistic niche. For over two decades, Mr. Rooney has taught art at several art schools and colleges, including the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington. D.C. among many others. He has exhibited his art nationally and internationally in galleries in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., Philadelphia, Pa., Richmond, Va., Chicago, Il., Munich, Germany and New York City. In addition, he had a very successful two-person exhibit at the Shridarani Gallery in New Delhi, India in 1988. This exhibit and a concurrent 5 week stay in India has informed Mr. Rooneys work ever since. Drawing on sources as diverse as Hinduism, Buddhism, Renaissance and Abstract Expressinist painting, Rene Descartes, nuclear physics, and his own Catholic upbringing, he attempts to make manifest the Hindu concept of the Maya, or the world as illusion. Frequently, the content or general theme of each piece is suggested in the title, giving the viewer a starting point for interpertation. Mr. Rooney believes that the many lives we lead are a journey toward goodness and each dream of life we experience is a challenge and a test preparing us for the ultimate reality of non-being.