Joan (Joe-on) Belmar was born in Santiago, Chile in 1970. He left Chile for Spain, at the age of 24, where he began painting professionally, using the Catalan name Joan for his first name John. He came to Washington, D.C. in 1999, and was granted permanent residency in the U.S. based on extraordinary artistic merit in 2003, and has since become a citizen.
Belmar's works reflect his interest how the mind processes the passage of time. His 3-D paintings are created by using strips of Mylar and Vinyl to build space and layers inside the painting. The sheerness of the Mylar captures and reflects light and encourages up-close viewing of the work, which reveals the various depths that have been created.
Belmar was a Mayor's Award Finalist in 2007 as an outstanding emerging artist in Washington, D.C.The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities awarded him an artist fellowship grant in 2009. In 2010, the Maryland Arts Council awarded him an Individual Artist grant in Visual Arts: Painting. And in 2011, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County gave him an Individual Artist Grant.