You can’t afford to pass these stones |

You can’t afford to pass these stones

Andrew Harley
Special to the DailyAlvin Marshall's work is deeply-rooted in the attempt to preserve his cultural heritage.

Of the elements of the Earth, there aren’t many more basic and vital than water and rock; water preserves the present while rock preserves the past.

Stone sculptor Alvin Marshall keeps a special relationship with rocks, molding them into self and cultural expressions.

Marshall will be present at his art exhibit showing at Philinda Gallery Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“Being an artist is a very spiritual experience,” says Marshall. “You must be in tune with your surroundings and what you do from morning to evening. I wake up, say prayers, am mindful to be respectful of Mother Earth, my peers, family members and friends, and try to walk a balanced life.”

Marshall has nurtured his artistic nature since early childhood as a Navajo in the Four Corners region of New Mexico. He was raised by his maternal grandmother.

After fighting a war for the United States, he returned a serious artist.

At 21, Marshall began working with stones, doing sculpture, and he’s done it ever since.

He has studied sculpture throughout Europe, and especially in Lacomo, Italy.

“My studies there were a brush-up on carving, and mostly art history,” said Marshall.

Marshall has also traveled across the United States acting as an artist-in-residence and teaching at many of the places along the way.

“I’ve travelled from Maine to California talking about my work and Native American heritage,” says Marshall. “Native American art has had a lot of innovations and added more ideas and more true stories never told by our grandfathers.

“Our heritage needs to be preserved through sculture, painting, movies, music, writing. The older generation is dying off without having taught the younger generation many traditions and stories.”

Andrew Harley can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 610, or at

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