Markian was born in Toronto and at the age of 12 moved with his family to Victoria, BC. For a number of years after high school, Markian spent his summers working in logging camps throughout British Columbia to support his winters skiing the mountains near Banff. In 1977 he dropped in on a friend who was building a Tiffany lamp. His life changed - his journey of glass exploration had begun.
Working from his studio in Vancouver, Markian creates works that appear in commercial buildings, private residences and public spaces. Clients have included international airports, hospitals, corporate headquarters, places of worship, luxury hotels and restaurants worldwide.
Markian is a self taught artist employing a wide variety of innovative techniques, many of which have been developed in his studio. He focuses on commissioned site-specific architectural projects as well as screens and sculptures for galleries. Site-specific projects are often large-scale, providing opportunities to explore a different theme with each work. Markian has a passion for creating work which is integrated and relevant... he loves to create pieces with a story. Gallery pieces come from a different place. They are created with no site in mind... expressive works of composition, color and texture.
Markian's work is in private collections and public spaces worldwide, and has been published in numerous books and magazines.
Markian lives in Vancouver, with business partner Susan Robertson. They have four children.
For more details or to acquire a piece of glass art by Markian Olynyk, please contact us.
The first time I glanced upon Markian's work I was intrigued at the medium he worked from. For my galleries I wanted to work alongside someone who could create a palette of colors and textures that was seen through my photography. A pairing of style, yet two different artists complimenting each other.
I called Markian after several months of careful study and introduced myself. Sharing my vision and desire to work alongside him was effortless. Markian simply said "fascinating" and I sent him one of my books to see what he could create in equal through his glass sculpting. The result, an amazing array of technical brilliance and listening skills.
One of the reasons for our tremendous success, I feel, is keeping him free to express what he sees in my work and allowing him to stay true to his creative processes. One of the worst things you can do with an artist is to direct him to do things his/her heart is not engaged with. It also takes a tremendous amount of faith in the artist. In that initial conversation I knew that the wisest decision I would make was to provide spark but not the source of the flame.
Not only do I personally believe Markian is the finest artist in the art of glass sculpting today, but in our generation. I am very fortunate to be surrounded with such great talent and a heart that rivals any I have known. The greatest accolade I could ever give myself is "Markian is my friend".
~ Jeff Mitchum