ArtSpring/Summer 2023

Mark Yale Harris — Visual Art

Failure to Communicate
Odyssey Dilemma Searching


Artist Statement

The purpose of my artwork is to invoke an awakening of the sensual. Stimulating a perceptual, internal, and intellectual response for the viewer: a visual that speaks to life’s experiences. Creating symbols of universal connection underscores the relationship that one has to another and to nature.

Art conveys my nonverbal view of life. An ongoing portrayal of myself, my behavior, adventure, exploration, risk taking, and non-acceptance of convention and the status quo. Constantly in search of the new and different—I am fascinated with the unconventional. Life has a hard, aggressive side, as does much of my work, represented by rigid, angular lines. However, the soft side is also apparent, visible as curves and soft forms. Combining different elements, I bring forth a duality in the sculptures that I create.

Using the invaluable experience of the mentorship of Bill Prokopiof and Doug Hyde, along with my own vision, I have created an evolving body of work in alabaster, marble, limestone, and bronze. I was recently working on a commissioned piece and, while working, reflected on why I carve stone, a very primitive art form. The client had sent me a photo and specific dimensions. My process is to first draw it out dimensionally and then make a small clay model before beginning to sculpt. Then I start my work, in this case on a block of white marble. I measure and measure, then cut, then measure and then cut again, then recheck my drawing—and repeat. Finally, hopefully having made no mistakes, the figure begins to emerge. It is a great feeling of accomplishment! It is that mental challenge that inspires me to carve in stone. I thoroughly enjoy the cerebral exertion and concentration that is crucial to bringing something out of the stone, something that you really cannot do with clay or any other medium.


Artist Bio

Sculptor Mark Yale Harris realized his true passion—stone carving—in the 1990s. In Santa Fe, he was mentored by Bill Prokopiof (Aleut) and Doug Hyde (Nez Perce). Harris’ alabaster, marble, limestone and bronze works express the inherent duality in mans’ essence. Prior to this shift, Harris spent many successful years in the real estate/hotel business.

Harris has had 250+ (90+ solo) gallery, museum and international exhibitions. 120+ publications have featured his sculpture. Harris is represented by 20 galleries (US/UK) and has works in permanent collections in museums, various states’ public art venues, upscale hotels and hospitals.

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The author: Debra Marquart