About Mark Tobin Moore
Veteran – Navy 1972-1983
Mark was a “service brat” who grew up on Army and Air Force bases in the US and overseas. He attended High School at F. C. Hammond and T. C. Williams in Alexandria, Virginia until enlisting in the U. S. Navy in 1972. He served as a Personnelman on a Destroyer Tender, USS Sierra (AD-18) in Norfolk, VA and Charleston, SC, and as an active duty Stationkeeper at the Naval Reserve Center, South Charleston, WV, where he attained the rank of Petty Officer First Class while attending the University of Charleston on his off time. He separated from the Navy to attend graduate school at Marshall University. Upon graduation with an MA in Art, he worked as a U. S. Army – Europe civilian Supervisory Art Specialist at the Giessen Depot Arts and Crafts Center, and later as the Director of Exhibitions and Curator of Art at the West Virginia State Museum, Charleston, WV. Having also worked as an adjunct instructor of art during this time, Mark decided to pursue an MFA degree in art at West Virginia University so he could qualify to teach full time in Higher Education. He earned his degree in Painting and went on to be an Instructor and Assistant Professor of Art for twenty years at a number of West Virginia colleges and universities. He has exhibited his art nationwide, including New York City, Atlanta, Omaha, Denver, Columbia, SC, San Francisco, Phoenix, Alexandria, VA, and numerous galleries, universities, and museums in West Virginia where he lives. Overseas locations included Espa-Langgons, Lich, Giessen, and Baden-Baden, Germany, as well as the Palace of Luxembourg, Paris, France. Moore is the author of “Hank Keeling: A Life in Art – A Retrospective”, Marshall University Graduate Humanities Program, 2011, and he is a Signature Member of the National Collage Society in Cleveland, OH. His art works are in numerous private collections in the United States and Germany.
I began making pencil drawings of Civil War battlefields when I was about three years old. The detail and imagination defied explanation. I moved on to making my own comics with influences from British WWII comics, DC comics like “Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, or Marvel comics, particularly, “Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos”. I worked on art constantly to the detriment of my other studies. My father, an Air Force photographer in part of his career, passed on his knowledge to me through practical lessons and field trips, and through the many magazines and publications that were delivered regularly to our house. I began painting realistic Civil War dioramas at the same time. When I went to college I put off my required Drawing I class for two years, having a sense of anxiety about “performing” and “being judged”. When I finally took that class I met the most amazing art professor who, after the very first class, asked me to stay and he talked to me about my Navy service, sharing with me that he served in the Army during WWII. His influence on me is immeasurable in that he showed me a way to take everything I already knew about the arts and combine it with what I learned in the next four years to have confidence in myself, my beliefs, and my vision for how my art might find a place in a community of artists and maybe even contribute to the art in the nation. Making my art, and growing it, really, is what gives my life meaning. Also, sharing it through exhibitions, teaching or even sales so that someone may interact with my art in their own surroundings. That brings great joy to me. I am always happy to show my work. I am not particular about where, as long as it gets out in the world. Talking about it is more of a challenge because of the word “my” in its description. I never really think it is “mine”. The process of painting is a conversation with another presence, one that I respect and honor each time by giving nothing less than my best effort, insights, and empathy. When each process concludes I always feel so blessed and lucky to have been a participant.