Mark Riggins PhotoI am a lifelong resident of Bloomington, Indiana. My parents met while attending Indiana University and after a short time away moved back when I was less than a year old. I’ve stayed here the balance of my 60+ years. I graduated from Bloomington High School (class of 1972) and graduated from Indiana University in 1975. God has blessed me with my artistic abilities and has provided inspiration and support for my artistic endeavors through the staff at these schools, from my family and various other people in the community.

My Grandmother, Mary Maish, was a local artist that worked mostly in oils. My Uncle David Maish dabbled in cartooning. During my visits to my Grandmother’s house I admired her and my Uncle’s work and inspired me at an early age to draw. When my brothers and I would spend the night at my Grandmother’s house, I would get my crayons out and work on my creations while she worked on her paintings. Grandmother's house on North Dunn Street was a block away from Dunn Meadow. We would take walks to look at the Indiana University campus and take in the works of art at the Memorial Union or the I.U. Art Museum.

My parents, Jack and Leanna Riggins assisted likewise by offering continuing encouragement and keeping me stocked with supplies for my early artistic works. 

My wife, Diane, inspired me to move from abstract work to the realistic pen and ink renderings for which I am now best known. One weekend in 1980 (after much prompting from her to do something that she could relate to) I sat down and drew the I.U. Student Building. Since then most of my illustrations have been of subjects that bring back fond memories to friends or persons in the Bloomington community. 

In addition to those listed above and those who have commissioned my work, I would like to also thank those local artists, instructors and business owners that have given me encouragement and assistance. Among those are James B. Campbell, Mary Rose Wampler, Dorothy Baird, Bess Bohon, Earl Graves, Pastor Lawrence W. Mitchell, Steve Sexton (at the Waffle House), Jaime Sweany (at the Wandering Turtle), Bob & Paula Patton (at the Walnut Street Sampler), Gabe Coleman (at The Venue Arts and Crafts), Tova Lesko (at By Hand Gallery),  Keith Klein, and Ned Shaw.

Finally the beauty of Bloomington and the surrounding area also gives me much of my inspiration. I am so blessed by this environment and would like to thank all those individuals responsible for creating the structures that make this community unique and also those who maintain the environment that makes this such a creative place to live.


Mark Riggins