MARBLE/marble: Chet Haring

In July 2018, Magazine by Genevieve Joëlle VillamizarLeave a Comment

MARBLEmarble instructor and Carbondale sculptor Chet Haring unloads a piece for the Marble Distilling Co’s Par-tio

You’ll be noticing artist Chet Haring’s work throughout Carbondale this year. ‘Rack and Pinion’ was selected for Carbondale’s Art Around Town 2018. Several sculptures are showing at the Marble Distilling Company and Inn; and Haring also won the 2018 People’s Choice Award for an intriguing, inconceivably fabricated piece in the Carbondale Arts Valley Visual Arts Show. 

Haring is not one to rest.

After his multi-week paddle down the Grand Canyon this spring, he immediately set to work preparing for MARBLE/marble, the Marble Institute’s  internationally renowned stone-carving symposiums that happen every year, all summer, just outside of Marble, Colorado. M/m is celebrating their thirtieth anniversary this year; Haring will teach all six weeks.

“The Marble/marble worksite sits amongst stands of aspen, pine and tall Douglas firs along the Crystal River in Marble, Colorado. You’ll carve amidst marble blocks that were quarried 50-90 years ago – an inspiration for any sculptor. ” –MARBLE/marble and the Marble Institute

From the way Haring describes it, it sounds like an immersive celebration of art, creativity, stone and friendships. Like Haring, people return year after year from all over the world,  for the camaraderie and supportive environment.

Three two-week symposiums unfold each summer high in the Rockies of Marble, CO. Carving Colorado Yule marble is a highlight of the year for many repeat artists. Photo, MARBLE/marble and the Marble Institute

Although M/m draws high caliber sculptors and instructors, all skills and abilities are welcomed. Each carver gets their own open air, tented marble-carving station along the banks of the Crystal River. M/m provides unlimited access to a set of tools at each carving station. Workshops, demos and one-on-one coaching help sculptors to grow their craft and expand their techniques. Students and teachers alike camp in tents in the aspen forests of the upper Crystal, making for an immersive summer experience.

How many years have you been involved in MARBLE/marble?

I started in the program in 2007 as a participant and I was awarded a scholarship by Eleanor Selley that year. I fell in love with the atmosphere of Marble/marble; carving stone was a natural fit for me and my artistic style. In short it filled a void for me. I asked the director of the program how I could be of help/use in order to return the following summer. Eventually I was invited to be a full-time staff member, which I have been doing ever since. This is my 11th summer at Marble/marble.

Haring’s untitled piece won People’s Choice Award in Carbondale Art’s 2018 Valley Visual Show. Photo, Chet Haring

What drew you to working in marble?

I like the simplicity of the hammer and chisel (eventually the air hammer and grinder), the process of reductive sculpture, and the permanence of the final product.  As long as I work within the parameters of the stone and the tools … my imagination is my only limitation.

What’s going on in that head of yours?

Tough question.  I do like the idea of making a static material appear to have movement.  I also am trying to bring together the organic and the mechanical elements found in our environment in a way they may not be found in nature.  The masks are a subject that I have been exploring some time now; playing with the concept of hiding or enhancing one’s identity and the power different faces hold in different cultures.

Mask, Yule marble and iron, by Chet Haring

I do the work I do because I need to explore these ideas to see what may come from them.

What’s next?

Continuing to make more “something from nothing”. Trying to figure out what is in this head of mine.
Visit Chet Haring’s website for more info!