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Mark A. Perry

Folk Art Sculpture by Mark A. Perry

Folk Art Sculptures by Mark A. Perry

   The Sacred Wood is a book of essays by T.S. Eliot that deals with the relationship between the living artist and his/her connection to the heritage of art.  In a chapter called “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” Eliot observes that great art often emerges from the historical sense of the artist, and that  “the historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.” The sacred wood, for Eliot, was a metaphor for artistic discovery in space and time. Mark Perry’s creative journey is along these lines, and he is working out his vision in real wood.  He started off carving copies of late 18th century and early 19th century weathervanes, cigar store Indians, figureheads, trade signs, dogs and eagles. Mark intuitively followed the grain of folk art inspiration, and that led him to start creating new designs inspired by historically relevant works, or aspects of these works. He often combines influences from various sources to create folk art that harkens to the past but is contemporary and fresh.

Mark A. Perry
4th of July 53" H x 27" W
Folk Art Sculpture by Mark A. Perry
Indian Princess 36" High
Folk Art Sculpture by Mark A. Perry
Golden Doodle Crimper 70" Long
 (the form of the dog is lifesize)

   Mark Perry has no formal art training. As a young man on Nantucket Island, he stumbled into stone carving and became so good at it he was accepted into the prestigious Copley Society in Boston, the oldest art association in America and later, as a wood sculptor, the pinnacle show in the craft world, the Smithsonian Craft Show. A request from a client for a weathervane changed his course to working with wood.   He already collected antiques and had a keen enthusiasm for folk art carvings. “With no woodcarving or painting or painting skills to my credit,” Mark relates, “I traded in my stone carving tools for woodcarving chisels and a mallet. Armed only with the confidence gained from my earlier experience carving in stone I began reproducing early folk art masterpieces in wood.”

    Mark lives and works in Westerly, Rhode Island. “I can see Stonington out my window,” he tells us.
Folk Art Sculpture by Mark A. Perry
Eagle Crimper 56" L x 35" H

Folk Art Sculpture by Mark A. Perry
Running Horse 49" L x 28" H x 8" D
Folk Art Sculpture by Mark A. Perry
Rooster Detail  (measurements for entire sculpture)  48" W x 36" H x 9" D

508-325-1997  ·
Studio visits by appointment, Westerly, RI

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