Mark Yale Harris
Mark Yale Harris realized his true passion in the Southwest. Santa Fe became his home in the late 1990s and synchronously stone carving became his life's work. He dedicated himself to creating in 1996 and, with much to learn, the artist chose a mentor whom he had long admired, sculptor Bill Prokopiof (Aleut, 1944-1999), to assist with honing his burgeoning artistic skills. In the spirit of the nation's most recognized Native American artist Allan Houser (Chricahua Apache, 1915-1994), Prokopiof and sculptor Doug Hyde (Nez Perce) took Harris under their wings and generously shared their immense knowledge, talent, and vision. Inspired by the geographical region and grounded in the wisdom of his teachers, he began zealously creating sculpture.
Transitioning into the life of a full-time artist required Harris's dedication to enveloping himself in all aspects of his new profession. Prior to this shift, 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 adjustment into wholly fulfilling vocation 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 tutelage 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 express his take on the inherent duality in mans' essence.
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.