The Piano Man: Mark Warren Jacques

August 23, 2018

You’ve probably seen Mark Warren Jacques’ work around North County already. His colorful murals at Be + Well in Leucadia and at Campfire in Carlsbad are hard to miss! And on Sunday at LeucadiART Walk, he’ll be lending his signature colorful, geometric style to the new California Music Studios community piano at Coffee Coffee. Learn more about one of North County’s most in-demand artists below.

L101: Where are you from and how did you end up in North County?

MWJ: I’m from Columbus Ohio originally, however over the past 15 years I’ve spent the majority of my time in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and most recently New York. I was invited to North County a couple years ago by Chris Miller to paint a mural on his building in Carlsbad. I really fell in love with the beautiful landscape and vibe of the community here, so when Chris and his wife Lauren Duke invited me to come out again and paint another mural on Be + Well in Leucadia I decided to stay and make this my home. Sun, surf, skate, a welcoming community of amazing people, I love it here. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. I try to take life at face value, understanding that while I am in control of my perception of reality and the way I feel at any particular moment I am also not in control of EVERY aspect of reality; particularly what everyone/everything else is up to... and that mystery is pretty inspiring. It’s cool to think as an artist I get to sort of take how I see reality mix it with the mystery of inspiration and turn it into an image or an experience to share with others. Hopefully the output makes people stoked and inspires them and in turn and keeps the wheels moving forward. 

Describe the importance of art to a community.

I think the importance of art varies widely from person to person. However I think the value of art in the community sense, especially in terms of public art projects like the piano project and murals and sculptures and things like that, is very important. I think these public works actually CREATE the sense of community. Everyone, whether you love it or hate it has to interact with these pieces and that discourse forces us to interact with each other. They also add flavor and make a place unique and that uniqueness brings people together. 

What are you looking forward to at Art Walk?

The art, music, food, beer. The chance to get to show my new neighbors my art and hopefully stoke them out.

Have you ever painted a piano before? Anything other than a wall?

I have painted all kinds of stuff over the years but never a piano. It’s a particularly fun project for me because I’m also a musician and I love the idea of having an instrument public for anyone to play that also acts as a visual art piece. 

You have friends visiting, where do you take them for:

Coffee: Stonesteps  

breakfast: Swamis 

lunch: Beacons 

Dinner + drinks: Grandview 

Instagram @mwjstudio

Website www.mwjstudios.com.

Cheyenne Arnold
Assistant Director
Lifelong Leucadia resident, lover of Stonesteps & Birdseye.

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