Mark Yale Harris realized his passion in the Southwest; stone carving became his life’s work, as Santa Fe became home in the late 1990s. Dedicating himself to creating in 1996; with much to learn, the artist chose a mentor who he had long admired to assist with honing his burgeoning artistic skills, sculptor Bill Prokopiof (Aleut, 1944-1999). In the spirit of the nation’s most recognized Native American artist, Allan Houser (Chiricahua Apache, 1915-1994), Prokopiof and sculptor Doug Hyde (Nez Perce), took Harris under their wings, generously sharing their immense knowledge,talent, and vision. Inspired by the geographical region and grounded in the wisdom of his
teachers, he began feverishly creating sculpture.
Transitioning into the life of a full-time artist required Harris’s passion to become his profession as
well. Prior to developing as an artist, Harris spent many years in the area of sustainable urban development (specifically real estate and hotels), a conventional career in which he was quite
successful, but not fully satisfied. The transition into a wholly fulfilling trade, was both challenging and exciting. The artistic passion that had existed just beneath the surface of Harris’s long established business persona was finally able to present itself in tangible form. He accessed the invaluable experience of his mentors, along with his own vision, to create an evolving body of work
in alabaster, marble, limestone, and bronze, often combining different elements to bring forth a duality through creation.
Over the past fifteen years Harris has continued to challenge himself as a sculptor, finding it important to continue learning and teaching. Several intensive workshops, including studies with Terry Allen, Jo Harvey and James Surls, have expanded his understanding immensely. Harris’s charitable endeavors have been numerous; he cites his work with Fine Art for Children and Teens (FACT) in Santa Fe, New Mexico as especially gratifying.
In 2006, the artist challenged himself to enlarge a tabletop-sized maquette in to monumental proportions. The first piece in this scale, Recoil (46"x43"x32"), was met with rave reviews from critics and art
aficionados alike. Due to Harris’s ongoing examination of the sculptural form and progress within his medium, his work continues to be widely sought after and exhibited by reputable art venues.
Harris’s sculpture has been included in 80+ solo, museum and international exhibitions out of the 250+ exhibitions outlined on his resume. 100+ publications have featured his sculpture (books, magazines, newspapers) in the past 10 years. In addition, ARTWORKinternational Inc. Press published Mark Yale Harris Figurative Abstractions in 2010 and Mark Yale Harris Untamed in 2011 as part of their Acclaimed Artist Series. As well, Mark Yale Harris, A Retrospective was published in 2006, updated and reissued in
2013. All three books document the important works created thus far in this sculptor’s career.
Current works can be found in many permanent public collections, including: Hilton Hotels; Booth Western Art Museum - Cartersville, Georgia; Herman Memorial Hospital - Houston, Texas; State of New
Mexico - Ruidoso, New Mexico; Four Seasons Hotel - Chicago, Illinois; and City of Roanoke Historic District - Roanoke, Virginia. Furthermore, Harris’s sculpture has recently been featured at the Royal Academy of Art - London, United Kingdom; Marin Museum of Contemporary Art - Marin County, California; Open Air Museum - Ube, Japan; and Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art - Biloxi, Mississippi. Harris’s sculpture is represented by twenty galleries in the US and UK.
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.
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.
Combining different elements, I bring forth a duality in the sculptures that I create.