Alto Artists’ Studio Tour
Spotlighting Artist Lay Powell
At age 8, Lay Powell found artifacts of native life on his grandfather’s ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. This discovery became a portent of Lay’s fascination with ancient cultures that continues today.
Lay has an inner identity; he describes himself as “living on the edge of spirits” or “standing in my own light”. Talent early in his youth has evolved into a driven artistic expression focused on sculptures preserving the images of the past.
Working as an experienced paint artist for Dave McGary’s bronze workshop in Ruidoso, New Mexico, Lay broadened his talent by exploring welding and patina work. “Welding in particular,” says Lay, “allows me to produce 3-D images of two-dimensional rock art.” Although his welding skills are advanced and his sculpture reputation is countrywide, Lay continues to take welding classes locally at Eastern New Mexico University. “Growth is important to change,” expresses Lay.
Twice a year, Lay participates in surveying the Petrified Forest for the federal government. As a talented member of a team, he provides photography, illustrations and mapping. He has a rare collection of mammoth rubbings, actual rock that was rubbed by mammoths up to 10,000 years ago.
Current artistic visions, large and small, always have a link to the past. Lay Powell believes his role is to keep the past alive in his work.
Collector Chip Conway's admiration for Lay's sculptures has grown into a backyard landscape of art. Chip and Lay have shared many outings exploring rock art sites in Utah, Colorado, Mexico, Arizona and New Mexico.
Chip describes Lay's sculptures as “raw yet delicate, strong and spiritual”. A view of Chip’s backyard garden provides several images of past cultures. Chip’s collection includes pieces that he commissioned Lay to create.