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PALM SPRINGS LIFE MAGAZINE Merrill Orr Carves Art Career Out of Stone 4/1/2014 La Quinta artist will host interactive demonstration at Indian Wells Arts Festival
By Marcia Gawecki

Sculptor Merrill Orr won’t be the only one carving stone during the 12th annual Indian Wells Arts Festival, which runs April 4-6.
“I will be working on a huge block of alabaster, while each kid gets to carve his own piece,” says Orr, who will be one of the festival’s featured artists. “It will be more fun than working with clay.”
The theme of Orr’s artist demonstration is called, “When in Rome,” which harkens back to his teenage years when he first learned to carve marble in Italy. Orr’s artist dad encouraged him to study abroad before entering college.
“I was classically trained by three Italian brothers, Hugo, Nino and Joe,” recalls Orr, who lives in La Quinta. “They made me appreciate a sculpture’s perfect, crisp line.”
He still keeps in touch with Hugo on a weekly basis.
“The main thing children will learn while carving in stone is patience,” explains Orr, who regularly teaches symposiums to grade school children.
After a recent one, an 11-year-old boy approached Orr with an announcement.
“He told me that he found his life’s calling,” Orr says with a laugh. “So I patted dust all over his clean shirt, and asked him if he still loved it, and he said yes!”
In Oct, Orr sent 45 sculptures to Mainland China for three universities.


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