Born Dawson City,Yukon Territory
Mark Preston is a First Nations artist of Tlingit and Irish descent. He began studying silver carving at Hazelton, British Columbia, with Haida master jeweller Phil Janze. After this apprenticeship, Preston moved on to wood carving, although he considers silver to be his life-long dedication.
Regarding his art, Preston states: “When I think about what art is, it is more than illustration or objects to be doted over. Art is the magic, the glue that brings us all together. It is the language that transcends its forms. Art gives us reason to think, ponder and speak our minds.”
Preston has worked in various mediums including paper, cloth, wood, metals and stone. In addition to his jewellery and paintings, Preston has been working on large-scale glass pieces.
Though he had an early interest in European masters, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Preston eventually discovered Northwest Coast artists, such as Bill Reid, Robert Davidson and Roy Vickers. He lists Mark Rothko and Jack Bush as influences on his more recent paintings. These works transcend traditional Northwest Coast form toward a more abstract and contemporary aesthetic.