By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — He’s one of Baltimore’s best known artists, who gave up his regular job to pursue his passion.

Mark Cottman was an architectural engineer with the state when he decided to devote all of his time to his first love, his artwork.

“People talk about reincarnation, I think this is my first time being here,” said Cottman. “So I’m so excited about being here, I just want to share that visually with other people and just let them see that the world is a wonderful place.”

Mark’s wonderful place is his gallery in Federal Hill, where you’ll find hundreds of pieces, including his best seller, “This is Baltimore.” That painting has gone worldwide.

“One of my biggest accomplishments is highlighting the city that I love,” said Cottman. “I was born in Baltimore. My painting, ‘This is Baltimore,’ has what I call the sweet spots. People from all over the world have been in this gallery. The painting is in Paris, it’s in Dubai, it’s in Australia, it’s in Japan. It’s all over the world.”

For Black History Month, Cottman includes his tribute to African American inventors and “Equality For All,” which is now displayed at Baltimore City Police Department Headquarters.

“One of my favorite paintings is about African American inventions. It took time to do the research. I have things in there that people never knew were invented by African Americans. One is the mailbox, another is dry cleaning, and there are many others.”

“I just wanted to be a constant reminder that we are all equal human beings. Nobody is better than anyone else.”

It’s been seven years since Cottman opened his gallery in Federal Hill. It’s there where you’ll find his paintings and his passion.

From polymers of Charm City, to coasters and paintings with a message, with love from Baltimore.

Cottman is hosting a pre-Valentine’s paint party Saturday night at his gallery on South Charles St.

Click here for more information and to view Cottman’s work.

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