Mark Golomb knew from a very young age that he had a deep passion and talent for art - and so did others around him.
A native of Berwick, the sculptor and painter now lives on a farm in Millville. His art recently was featured on display at the Eagle Rock Winery, 414 W. Fourth St.
He said he always was interested in art, even as far back as elementary school. He remembers having a traveling art teacher at his school in Berwick, and always looked forward to art class, like other boys looked forward to shop class.
Above, a wire bonsai tree by Mark Golomb. Golomb’s trees were recently on display at Eagle Rock Winery, 414 W. Fourth St. Below, one of the artist’s paintings is shown.
"One day the teacher didn't show up, and they had me teach the art class," he said. "It was very intimidating to stand up in front of your class and teach the other students."
Golomb was only in fourth grade at the time, and managed to do such a good job teaching his class, that he even had other teachers asking to borrow him to teach their classes, too.
It wasn't until later in his life when he really started to become very serious about his art and he began creating wire bonsai trees, as well as painting.
"I had all of the things - the canvas and paints and brushes - for 20 or 30 years and I never did anything with them," Golomb said. "I took a stab at it, and it was disastrous. I put everything away and it kind of migrated throughout my house. I moved from my home in Berwick and I opened up my closet, and there it was. I had to make a decision as to what I took with me and I thought maybe it's time I really took a shot at this."
His girlfriend's father, who is a retired art teacher, helped him with his painting. Golomb said he would paint a few things and then take them to show to his girlfriend's father, who would end up telling him he needs to start over.
"I listened to what he said and I would go home and do it over and bring the work back," he said. "The more coaching I got, the better I got at it. I got a bunch finished, and it was just prior to the Bloomsburg fair and he encouraged me to enter work into the Fair and I did, and I got a ribbon for it."
His paintings run from $300 to $1,200.
Golomb also sculpts bonsai trees from 18-inch long 22-gauge steel wire, atop a marble or granite base.
He said he began creating the trees after his mother lost a similar type of tree that she bought at a gift shop in Bloomsburg, and asked him if he could make one for her himself.
He took a couple of stabs at it before finally developing a size and weight ratio that worked well, so that the trees wouldn't become top-heavy.
His trees range in price from $150 to $250. Golomb said he has found some of his trees being re-sold for more online.
He is not the only artist who creates these types of trees, but he said they are fairly difficult to make. They are not easy to copy, and thinks that may be why people will buy them to re-sell to others.
Golomb said he likes to spend time with other artists and go to galleries. He loves to observe what is going on around him and likes to see the beauty in nature. "We're the kind of people that drive off the road looking at clouds," he said.
Golomb recently submitted a proposal to construct a 20-foot tall bonsai tree for possible placement on the Riverwalk. He said Anna Falat from the Eagle Rock Winery suggested that he submit the proposal last year.
"In my proposal, I did a little bit of research into how exactly we could anchor something like this and weld it and construct something that tall," Golomb said. "The material we settled on will be aluminum because the steel would oxidize and become a problem."
There were many things that had to be considered when developing a plan to construct the giant tree, including how much of the materials he would need and how heavy the structure would become.
He decided that the best way to make sure the tree would remain stationary and withstand strong winds and other harsh weather elements, would be to install a flagpole, which would be cut off at a certain height to construct the tree around it.
Golomb had an interview for the riverwalk proposal submission earlier this month and hopes to hear back soon if the idea will go through to have a tree constructed for the walk.
For more information or to view Golomb's work, visit www.fineartamerica.com.