Pictured is a rendering of the freestanding ER Arizona General Hospital is planning to build in Anthem.
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Mark Carroll: Firmly Ground and Reaching for the Sky
Staff Report~ 6/25/2014
CAVE CREEK – Powerful in motion, sensual in design, stately in presence, grand in scale…all are characteristics of the versatile and imaginative sculptures created by Mark Carroll. Just as Frank Lloyd Wright pondered the use of natural materials for incorporation into living and working space, Mark Carroll combines his vision and expertise in wood, stone, metal, and clay to create sculptures that simply stop you in your tracks, demanding your full attention.
Last fall, Mark won the commission for two monument sculptures to be placed at two of the three entrances to the town of Cave Creek.
Mark remarked, “When people think of Cave Creek, the images that come to mind are a bit of the ‘Old West.’ What better to represent the freedom of spirit and the power of individualism than the horse.”
Cave Creek represents a mixture of traditional and contemporary influences, blending the old and the new in our dreams of the open range. In designing the sculptures, Mark attempted to capture the impression of both in his choice of materials. Rust colored steel and natural sandstone represent the foundations of the community – rough, earthy and open – for the base. On the other hand, the shiny stainless steel contemporary design of the horse reaching for the sky hints of the modern influences in Cave Creek’s present day efforts. Together, the design captures the “essence” of a community with strong root reaching for its dreams.
Mark’s own artistic talent has its foundation in growing-up around artistic activity. His father Richard was a full-time sculptor and master carver in wood and stone, well-known for his granite monuments and religious figures for churches. His mother Mary, a landscape and portrait painter, worked primarily in oils. During his early years, Mark began carving small caricature figures and duck decoys, eventually progressing to larger detailed decorative bird carvings. After his father passed away, Mark was asked if he could carve the statues for a local church. He accepted the challenge and proved his mastery of design and materials. As the commissions increased, he decided to become a full time professional sculptor. He opened his business as The Sculpture Studio, LLC
Mark’s inspiration comes from the natural world. He hiked the full distance of the Appalachian Trail, a distance of 2,145 miles, from Georgia to Maine, twice.
The first trek was made in 1977; then, he returned to the trail once again in 1986. The intense experience of walking and living in the natural beauty of forests and mountains for five months each time left a deep and profound impression on Mark’s relationship with the natural elements. He gained a deep appreciation for nature’s finest details and the beauty in natural forms, light, and space.
Early in his sculpture career, Mark took up marble carving, which led to learning how to split, carve, and polish granite. Soon Mark’s creative curiosity led him to combining different material. As a result, this prompted an interest in welding, combining limestone and steel, or granite and stainless steel. Adding new combinations of materials expanded his portfolio of work and increased the commissions he received.
Mark Carroll is a true Renaissance man of the sculpture world. His work has evolved from realistic animal and human forms to the abstract gleaming steel and majestic stone. This most recent commission for the Town of Cave Creek is the representation of everything both Mark and the community have accomplished to date.
To see more of Mark’s sculptures, visit his Web site at www.thesculpturestudio.com or contact him for an appointment to see his studio in Cave Creek at (480) 575-6670 or Mark.Carroll@thesculpturestudio.com.