Emerging Artist | Carol Ruff Franza

Spirit of the Mountain by Carol Ruff Franza

By Julie Osterman

Arizona sculptor Carol Ruff Franza doesn’t like to polish the surfaces of her works. “I just let my hands be guided, and I leave whatever texture happens during the dance,” she says. “I feel like I am not controlling the surface but allowing energy to play over it.” This loose, spontaneous style is evident in her recent piece spirit of the mountain, a striking depiction of a wolf that was installed at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, AZ, in May. “The wolf represents the child—young, graceful, and untamed, focusing on the world outside of his home,” Franza describes. “He is eager to leave yet still a little reserved.”

Many of her works portray animals—from horses to birds to deer—and the sculptor also specializes in the human figure. “Any subject that fills my heart to overflowing is the subject of choice,” she says. “I am moved by motion, gesture, and spirit.” Her inspiration has been running rampant these days, which explains the menagerie of nearly finished pieces scattered around her studio that will soon be cast using the lost-wax process. A member of the National Sculpture Society, Thunderbird Artists, and the Sonoran Arts League, Franza will return to the Arizona Fine Art Expo in January. She is represented by Mardon Frost Gallery, Tucson, AZ; Fumagalli Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; and www.carolrufffranza.com.

Featured in “Artists to Watch” July 2005