Mark Abildgaard received a B.A. in Art from San Francisco State University in 1979, and a M.F.A. from the University of Hawaii in 1984. After graduating from the University of Hawaii, Mark worked as an artist-in-residence at the Tokyo Glass Art Institute in Japan, and at Sculpture Space in Utica, NY. Mark was awarded a five-month fellowship at the Creative Glass Center of America in Millville, New Jersey in 1985.
Abildgaard works in clay to create the original work, so he is able to focus on developing form and texture without the distraction of color. One of the challenges he finds in using glass as a sculptural material is to find a way to work with color and light that will not detract from the original idea. The nature of glass allows the artist to add incredible power to the sculptural image by reacting with light. Abildgaard creates work that will be enhanced by this unique characteristic. He uses simple forms to represent faces, bodies, and heads. The artist is trying to find archetypical images which are not cultural specific. In working with these images, he is seeking a way to combine ancient forms with his own life experiences. He strives for his work to represent this connection to the past.