Mark Yale Harris realized his passion in the Southwest; stone carving became his life’s work, as Santa Fe became home in the late 1990’s. 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 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 for him. 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 creating. 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 sites his work with Fine Art for Children and teens.