What do art and swine science have in common? Not much, really, unless your name is Mike Maas.
Mike, according to his story, claims that he has been an artist for most of his life, beginning in elementary school, but just wasn’t that good at it. He didn’t consider it professionally until college where he started his major in agriculture but also took watercolor classes (in the school of agriculture in the department of horticulture) illustrating plants. He also branched out (no pun intended) into Chinese Brush Painting.
In college he also took sculpture and design classes in the arts. Eventually agricultural studies became very boring and when it came time for swine science, he was done with his agricultural studies (which included working on a farm, milking cows, etc.). His academic achievements include an AAS from Delhi, BS from Cornell, MFA from the Pratt Institute and a diploma from the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York City. He used all his learning and his passion for art to teach special education art classes at BOCES for 27 years.
Mike has lived in many places such as East Patchogue, Marco Island (off the west coast of Florida where he attended a three room schoolhouse), Walden, NY (upstate) and Eastport.
As an artist Mike has worked in several mediums – Painting (acrylics, oils and pastels), Sculpture (wood, pasticine and plaster), Printmaking (solar etching, linoleum and monotype) and film animation. Of all these various mediums, linoleum cuts are his favorite.
Yes, Mike is a renaissance man to be sure! In addition to his love of art he is also musically inclined. He used to sing Classical music in the Philharmonic, sings tenor in his church choir and has also sung as a nightclub singer covering Cole Porter songs. His other tastes in music are Bluegrass, Classical, Jazz and Rhythm & Blues.
In the past he has also been on the SBAA board in different capacities (Vice President, President and trustee) and currently helps out at various SBAA functions with setting up and hanging the artwork at the member art shows.
These days you can find Mike working on his latest artistic pursuit, fiber art, which is spinning wool into yarn for his knitting. He also volunteers for the food pantry at his church.