By: Sarah Fish

The monarch butterfly is the epitome of metamorphosis and migration. Its distinct eye-catching look is synonymous with beauty, change and endurance. Four stages of development over four generations of butterflies each year complete a life cycle ever in progress.

Artist Mark Gagnon owns Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery, with his wife, Monica. “A Life in Progress we’ve been manifesting for nearly 15 years,” he says. Like the monarch butterfly, Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery is a result of continuous development and journey.

Gagnon’s work has been shown in galleries, museums, arenas and airports around the country, but his home is here in Bradenton and his gallery is nestled appropriately in the Village of The Arts. With 20+ years of custom framing experience, Monark is ready to help you with whatever projects you can dream up. From Picassos to concert posters, shadow boxes and custom mirrors, Gagnon has framed it all. In regards to his original style, he says: “My work is an attempt to challenge the eye and stimulate the mind.” His work and community are in alignment, surrounded by like-minded creatives with a similar purpose.

“By using self developed stream-of-consciousness techniques, each one of my works is unique,
whether art, music, or the written word,” he says.

Gagnon references his original music and prose as extensions of his creative expressionism. Both are equal to his meticulously detailed visual mazes or his frenetic acrylic work.

Gagnon composes and performs original music under the name Mach G. Like his visual art,
Gagnon’s musical expression is atmospheric and honest. His sounds are abstract yet familiar and relatable. Like the various stages of the monarch butterfly, the different aspects of his artistry are unique on their own. Together, they encompass the man and the mind behind Monark Gallery, Mach G and The Artist MSG.

“Some pieces take minutes to create, and others take years,” he says, adding “With a main focus on abstract expressionism, my work evolves from the emotional state I am in during the creation process.”

Much like the monarch butterfly, the pieces of art adorning the Monark gallery and elsewhere are testaments to Gagnon’s personal hardships and joys; expressions of personal growth and
manifestations of metamorphosis. They’re mind maps of his curious contemplations. Each piece is unique to Gagnon’s experience in this world, as much as they are unique to each person who admires them.

“Often viewers find angels, animals, faces, cityscapes and more in my work,” he says,
explaining that the apparitions are usually unintended and brought forth through a stream-of-conscious creation process.

He added painting with acrylics a year later. He is also the author of children’s book “The Blue Cow and the Hummingbird” and has published and sells books containing his creative solvable mazes.

“My creativity comes in waves, from art to music to writing to art to music to writing,” Gagnon describes his process. He is in tune with what he describes as a “concentric creative energy” that inspires him to explore different aspects of each discipline as they well up in his mind.

My inspiration for the cover artwork titled “Making Waves in Bradenton” is the palpable feeling that big things are happening in our city. Whether it’s the Riverwalk, The Village of the Arts, the beautiful beaches or the building boom happening out East, Bradenton is in the midst of a Renaissance, and I hope this artwork conveys how happy I am to be a part of it!

You can admire Gagnon’s work at his gallery on 12th Ave West in Bradenton’s
Village of the Arts or visit his website https://monark-custom-f

his Instagram page @monark_custom_framing and at

Get your very own print of the Bradenton Magazine cover art “Making Waves in Bradenton.” Now taking orders at: Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery ~
Limited Quantity available!

Contact Mark: 941.216.9349 |

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