Modern Artist: Marcelo Pazán

One of Mississauga’s most well-known artists, Marcelo Pazán, owner of Pazán Gallery, has been a bright beacon for the local art scene for many years. Impressively, he was accepted into the Ontario College of Art and Design twice in the early nineties, but both times, the timing wasn’t right. With a passion for painting, he continued doing so in his spare time as he wanted to remain connected with it. He then was accepted into the University of Toronto for architecture and after one year, he knew it wasn’t the career path that he truly wanted.

Knowing that art would always be a focal point for him, he learned the art of graphic design and landed a job at the Toronto Star, which lasted nearly 20 years. Sensing that the graphic design world was changing, he saw this as an opportunity to pursue his passion full-time and after careful consideration, Marcelo decided to open his own gallery in October 2011 as a way of reinventing himself. Between 2009 and 2011, he became increasingly immersed in the art world and acquired new skills, which included photo restoration, appraisals, custom art pieces, framing, among others. It also allowed him to devote more time to creating art through painting.

As with all entrepreneurs, one of his biggest obstacles was fear of the unknown. “Going from a steady, unionized paycheque to making the leap away from that certainly wasn’t easy,” says Marcelo. In the same breath, he says “I love that I did it and I see success in my decision every day through making clients happy and creating and sharing my art.”

Coming up on his one year anniversary at the new location at 6 Brant Avenue in April 2017 (he spent the first 7 years at 3 Benson), Marcelo enthusiastically gives credit to his wife, Gloria, who has recently taken over the Lakeshore Art Trail. “She’s my muse and support system…we love contributing to the community.”

While there have been several high points during his career, one that stands out is his participation in the recent (and incredibly successful) InSitu event, where he was the Director of Marketing and Communications. He’s a tremendous proponent of both collaboration and increasing the amount of art in our community, so being deeply involved in InSitu was a natural fit for him. “I realize that I was only one cog in a big wheel but I was thrilled to participate and offer advice and guidance.”

In addition to running a popular and successful gallery, Marcelo is also involved in supporting other art projects, such as Arts On The Credit and working with his wife on the Lakeshore Art Trail. He knows he can’t engage in everything (even though he wants to) so he’s carefully selected what he can invest his time in to yield results instead of saying yes to everything and having some commitments fall between the cracks.

Regarding the future of the arts community, Marcelo says, “the more incubators for the arts we have, the stronger the community will become. Careful financial investments will allow the artists to flourish.” Looking forward, he will continue working with local artists to help them flourish and expand and will make time to do what he loves, which is paint, sometimes with a glass of wine close at hand. His vision is to provide classes, further art education and to provide a collaborative environment for artists to help them thrive. “I will continue working with community going forward. We’re here to help…if anyone has questions, please come visit and talk to me.”