Marcus Glenn in Detroit’s Big Top

 In Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, Marcus Glenn
Marcus Glenn Shrine Circus

Marcus Glenn invigorates the crowd as the opening ringmaster at the 2015 Shrine Circus.

Park West Gallery artist Marcus Glenn and his wife, Yolanda, were the guests of honor during the 2015 Shrine Circus held at the Hazel Park Raceway in Hazel Park, Michigan.

Glenn was invited to serve as ringmaster for the opening act on March 20. He introduced himself to the audience, mentioning he is an artist from the Detroit area.

“I told them it was an honor to be a part of the circus, and told the children and people of all ages and walks of life to enjoy the show,” he says.

The circus, held this year from March 20-22, has been entertaining audiences since 1906. It is the first Shrine Circus in the world and is considered the oldest and largest.

Glenn was reminded of his childhood when his mother would take him and his sisters to the circus. Feelings of nostalgia surfaced as he watched the animals and clowns perform, and saw audience members munching on cotton candy and sugary elephant ears.

Along with nostalgia, feelings of inspiration welled up in Glenn. He says he has sketched out some ideas based on his experiences. He says he usually files his drawings and will use them for ideas when looking to create new artwork.

“I look forward to using some of those sketches and turning them into paintings,” he says.

Along with serving as the opening ringmaster, Glenn and Yolanda took a tour of the Shrine Circus and got up close and personal with the animals, including elephants, camels, monkeys and kangaroos.

“I actually got kissed by a female camel, in front of my wife too,” he says with a laugh.

Marcus Glenn Shrine Circus

Glenn has some fun feeding a female camel at the Shrine Circus.

The circus is organized by the Shriners, which supports 22 hospitals for children ages 18 and under. Glenn says he was glad to be a part of a spring tradition in Detroit.

“It was a wonderful experience,” he says. “I will truly cherish the opportunity.”

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