Mark Shasha

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"Summer Dream" by Mark Shasha, 2010

Mark Shasha (born 1961) is an American artist. He is also an author, illustrator and educator. His subjects are often familiar and are usually inspired by the textures and light found along the New England coast where he lives and works.

Shasha studied art at Rhode Island School of Design where he received his B.F.A in 1983. His artwork has been seen in museums, galleries and dozens of publications for three decades. His paintings have appeared in more than 50 notable exhibitions from Hollywood, California to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in Connecticut and the Society of Illustrators in New York City.

Children's books[edit]

Mark Shasha began his career in art as a writer and illustrator with The Boston Phoenix, the Boston Globe and several other publications. His first book, the children's classic1 Night of the Moonjellies (Simon & Schuster, 1992) was inspired by childhood memories of working at his family's hot dog stand by the sea in New London, Connecticut in the early 1970s.

The story features a warm relationship between a boy and his grandmother along with a variety of characters busy with the hustle and bustle of the fast food business. It also features a bioluminescent jelly-like creature found in the North Atlantic called a moonjelly or Ctenophore (pronounced 'tee ne for').

Another book by Shasha, The Hall of Beasts (Simon & Schuster, 1994), an unusual story about a mysterious mural in an abandoned inn by the sea, did not fare quite as well commercially.

Early influences[edit]

N.C. Wyeth, Chris Van Allsburg, Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent

Partial bibliography[edit]


1Smithsonian Magazine, 1992, Nov. p. 42

2Marblehead Reporter, “Hitting a Home Run - Mark Shasha’s Great Contribution”, June 2, 2005 p. 1

3The Boston Globe, "Mark Shasha's Harbor", June 21, 2005 p. E4 Living/Arts

4Robert's Snow, 2005

  • Salem News, "The Pages of Children's Books Fill Marblehead Museum", by Matthew K. Roy, Feb. 2, 2006
  • The Boston Globe, "Mark Shasha's Harbor", June 21, 2005 p. E4 Living/Arts
  • The New York Times, Vivien Raynor, "Dancing Fairies, Cavorting Pigs: Illustrations for Children’s Books" August 8, 1993, p. 16
  • "Something About the Author", Who's Who Encyclopedia of American Authors, volume 83, Mark Shasha, pp. 202–203. Gale Pub.1993
  • The New London Day, "A Window to the World – Mark Shasha", August 28, 1992, p. B7*
  • Lyman Allyn Museum of Art, Exhibition directory, New London, CT. 1992
  • Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, directories, 1998-2008
  • Smithsonian Magazine, 1992, Nov. p. 42
  • Five in a Row, Vol I, 1994, pp. 30–33
  • Literature & Writing Connections : How to Make Books with Children - Grade Level 1 through 6 by Joy Evans, p. 134
  • Read This Book Before Your Child Starts School by Miriam W. Lukken, p. 106
  • Sesame Street Parent’s Guide, Natural Wonders, by Judith Rovenger, July/August issue, 1993
  • The Regional Standard, Salem, CT., “The Book-writing Business”, June 18, 1994, p. 20
  • The Hartford Courant, Student’s Get Taste of the Write Stuff, May 2, 1996, p B6
  • Marblehead Reporter, “Hitting a Home Run - Mark Shasha’s Great Contribution”, June 2, 2005 p. 1
  • The Reporter, “Swampscott Artist Creates Signature Piece for Hospice”, May 26, 2005 A&M p. 3
  • North Shore Sunday, “A Sort of Homecoming”, Art Section, May 27, 2005
  • Robert’s Snow by Grace Lin, Viking/Penguin Children’s Books,
  • The Whale Trail Book – 50 Fabulous Whales, Summer 2005, Whale Trail Publishing, K&M Publishing, New London, CT. p. 12
  • The Salem News, “Blooming at the Hooper Mansion”, May 13, 2005 p. B2
  • Artists of The Rockport Art Association - 85th Anniversary Issue - published by Rockport Art Association Press, 2006
  • The Past & Present: Time and Space Cannot Separate Them by Kathleen Valentine and Ted Tysver, Celebrating 85 years of the North Shore Arts Association – North Shore Arts Association of Gloucester, Inc. 2007, pp. 65
  • Boston Globe – Arts and Entertainment – Weekend, May 31, 2008 p. 12
  • Boston Globe – Arts North – In Local Galleries “Wendy Killeen” - June 1, 2008 – P.3
  • Smithsonian Magazine, “Notable Books”, Nov. 2003 Issue
  • Boston Globe, People/North, “Mark Shasha at Grosvenor Park”, July 6, 2003 p. 10
  • The Regional Standard, Colchester, CT.,“Artist’s Sketches Draw Attention”, Vol. 9. Issue36, May 11, 1996
  • The Middletown Press, “The Art of Drawing”, March 6, 1996 p. A3
  • Publisher’s Weekly, Jun 6, 1996, p. 64
  • Publisher’s Weekly, July 20, 1992, p. 249;
  • Booklist, Dec 15, 1992 p. 24
  • School Library Journal, Dec. 1992, p. 36

Shasha exhibition history in direct reference to the above article

  • "Moonjellies and Daydreams - The Art of Mark Shasha" - The Maritime Museum, New London Connecticut, June-August 2012
  • The Guild of Boston Artists – “The New England Painters” – 2008
  • The Past and the Present -Time and Space Cannot Separate Them – The 85th Anniversary Exhibition of the North Shore Art Association - distinguished artists of the association’s history, Gloucester, MA. 2007
  • Robert’s Snow Exhibition (traveling: Hollywood, Chicago, Newburyport, New York) 2005-2006
  • Connecticut Fine Arts Academy 94th Annual Invitational Exhibition, Mystic, CT, 2005
  • The Art of Children’s Literature - Lyman Allyn Museum – New London, CT, 1993

External links[edit]