About once a month, Arizona Oddities features a Q&A with a talented Arizona artist who is influenced by our state’s people, places and history. This month, sculptor Pete Incardona – aka Pete the Miner – shares his rocky path to becoming a bona fide artist.
Featured Artist: Pete the Miner
Medium: Marble. I’ve owned a marble quarry since 1992.
Gallery: Sunrise Mine Enterprises, Wickenburg
City of Residence: Wickenburg
Currently showing: The Celebration of Fine Art
How did you get started as an artist?
I’m a third-generation Sicilian stone carver and have always had a thing for rocks. In 8th grade I won a ribbon for my rock collection. Into adulthood I did a variety of jobs, and previously worked as a double and extra in movies (including a Steven Seagal film, “On Deadly Ground”), before finally returning to my love of rocks.
In 1993 I built my own rock saw and started cutting marble. Since then I’ve accumulated a client list ranging from Hugh Downs to Jack Nicklaus, Steve Wynn, and others. I’ve also been on ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover for the past eight seasons as a rock artist for the show. I donate marble benches, abstracts and other pieces.
Where do you find inspiration?
I try to make the rock speak. I look at the rock different than other people do. I see the inner strength of the rock and the uniqueness of each stone – and Arizona has some very unique stones. We actually have the two largest and highest-grade onyx deposits in the U.S.
How does living in Arizona influence your art?
The rocks are endless, just like Arizona summer days are nearly endless. We have some very unique rocks here for me to work with.
Favorite Arizona adventure:
I used to be a lake patrol, and my favorite adventure was fun chasing the jet skiers.
Favorite Arizona restaurant:
Crazy Ed’s in Cave Creek
How would you describe Arizona to someone who has never been here before?
Very outgoing, but very close to heart. There is so much around, but you still get to be you and create your own individual experience here.
Best Arizona sunset:
Sunrise Mine. We’re at the foothills of the Harquahala Mountains and get some beautiful sunsets and sunrises there.
Favorite Old West icon:
John Wayne, simply because of the fact that he said it like it was.