By Joey Marcella
Joey Marcella has earned the reputation of leading a double life in the world of marble. The president of Mario & Sons, a natural stone fabricator in Liberty Lake, WA, he is outstanding when it comes to all things stone for residential, commercial and religious buildings sectors. But that’s all business. What we really want to know is how he has the ability to create the sensation of romance from carved curves of stone. In 2018, Joey was awarded the prestigious Grande Pinnacle Award, the first time the award was given to a single piece of art. Carved from Carrara marble, Aura, pictured here, took sixteen months to execute and left the jurors questioning “that was done in stone?”
Today, Joey is ready to break the boundaries again with his new sculpture Soulmates, combining the latest in state-of-the-art stone-working technology with traditional hand-carving techniques. This will be his most ambitious project to date.
Soulmates will be intricately carved from two raw blocks of marble, a white Bianco Carrara with subtle grey veining, sourced from the same quarry as Michelangelo’s David, and a blackish-gray Grigio Carnico marble with white veins. The two are mirror opposites. Joey’s inspiration for the sculpture is based on a quote from the late Italian writer and actor Luciano De Crescenzo: “We are, each of us, angels with only one wing. Only by embracing each other are we able to fly...”. Deeper meaning continues through the entire piece, from the use of acanthus leaves that symbolize enduring life in Mediterranean culture, to the wings that represent angels dancing together between life (white) and death (black). Embracing each other, their bond enduring forever, they are true Soulmates.
The finished sculpture will be life-size at the height of 6 feet. The 9000-pound blocks have been quarried and made their long journey to Liberty Lake, where they will weigh just a fraction of their original staggering size after being carved. The project is estimated to take two years to complete.
Thanks to the Spokane Valley Arts Council, which commissioned this artistically unique piece, all residents of the City of Spokane Valley will be able to enjoy this stunning marble sculpture. It will be added to the city’s other monumental artwork donated by SVAC.