Mark Balma has built an international reputation as both a gifted oil painter and fresco artist. One of only three fresco painters in the US, Balma splits his time between Minnetonka and Assisi, Italy. In the summer of 2012, he created a dynamic fresco about social change for the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, celebrating their 10th anniversary in their new facility as well as their 60th anniversary overall. Balma’s work and materials are greatly inspired by the Italian masters; his hand-ground pigments are mixed with essential oils and resin, imbuing his pieces with an incredible luminosity. Whether painting notable figures like Margaret Thatcher or George Bush Sr., or commissioned portraits, Balma’s adoption of a technique pioneered by Leonardo da Vinci elevates any subject matter.
Balma has also created frescos locally for St. Mary’s College in Winona, the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, the Huber Funeral Chapel in Excelsior, the Founder’s Hall at the University of St. Thomas, and St. John’s Church in Stacy.
Jim C. Winterer