Carl’s journey to becoming an accomplished western sculptor has been unique. His family’s roots go deep in the west…three generations deep in the Arizona Territory. In his studio, Carl proudly displays the silver star his grandfather, Jim Kelly, wore as under sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona. The CX brand which identifies Carl’s bronzes comes from a branding iron made for him by his step-grandfather, Ira Proud of Goodsprings, Nevada. Ira arrived in Goodsprings in 1903 employed as a teamster delivering a team of mules and found home. Ira was an important mentor for Carl and his influence can be seen in Carl’s work.
Born in southern Nevada with a passion for the outdoors and a love of wildlife, Carl became an expert on the Desert Bighorn Sheep and was an accomplished guide by his early twenties. It wasn’t long before he and a fellow guide started their own outfitting business. The sheep guiding connected Carl with the horses, and that took on a life of it’s own. Carl spent nearly a decade in the horse business and lived the cowboy life. Carl married during these years and with a family on the way “a real job” was suggested.
Fast forward to 1993 and Carl is visiting his elderly father in the care facility. As Carl tells it, he really met his father in those conversations that they shared. He learned that there was a man inside he’d never known, with dreams he’d never shared. A man who had always done what was expected of him but who had never followed his
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