Accolade: Mark Pomilio Assistant Professor Of Art

December 19, 2005
Mark Pomilio

Hexagons, pentagons and octagons -- they're shapes traditionally associated with the sciences. Yet, layered and reimagined, they transcend science and become art through the creativity of Mark Pomilio, assistant professor of art at Baylor. "When you begin to study nature, there's a geometric essence to everything," Pomilio says. "The things that are the best are the simplest and the purest. And those things go back to divine proportions and relationships." Pomilio's "Family Circle Series" of original drawings recently was exhibited at the Chapelle St. Louis de la Pitie-Salpetriere in Paris, France. The drawings take ordinary lines, angles and planes and attempt to represent complex cell structure. In addition to these forms, he has created a fourth form that mimics a house in perspective. This form represents the family unit, which is on the verge of profound changes, due to genetic manipulation and cloning. "It is not my intent to condemn or celebrate these developments, but rather to express their profound relevance within our current era," Pomilio says. The artwork, eight charcoal-on-paper panels, roughly 7 feet by 21/2 feet, was installed for 10 days in May in Chapelle St. Louis, a church well-known internationally for hosting work by some of the most accomplished artists in the world such as Bill Viola and Jenny Holzer. Pomilio holds a four-year degree in painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, a BFA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in painting from the University of Michigan, where he taught for more than six years. He also participated in independent internships in New York and Florence, Italy, before coming to Baylor in 2002. He has won numerous awards and grants for his art, including the Herbert and Joy Reynolds Endowment Fund for University Excellence and the Allbritton Grant for Faculty Research in 2005, which funded his exhibit in Paris. In addition to his studio work, Pomilio teaches drawing to about 40 students each semester. "I try to use humor a little bit ... to loosen up the environment so they start to feel comfortable, because that's when they're going to do their best work," he says. Family is central in Pomilio's art and in his life. He says that Baylor students and faculty strive to do their best work and are compassionate and welcoming to him and his wife, Carole; daughter, Emily, 14; and sons, Mark Jr., 10, and Matthew, 8. "Baylor was one of the places that wanted my family," he says. "I want to be a good teacher, a good artist and try to be a good father."