By Rebecca Pikus

Merrill Orr is a Master Sculptor who lives & works right here in our very own Coachella Valley — in La Quinta, Ca. He is a highly-approachable & affable artist whose charisma & openness attracts people immediately, & his good nature takes the intimidation factor out of art! Although originally from Ocala, Florida, Merrill has attained National — and International — acclaim for his stone sculptures & Public Art. Throughout his art career, he has created stone & steel sculptures, ceramics, lighting, sculptural industrial furniture, sculpture gardens & set designs.

Merrill’s work is subtle yet bold, modern & contemporary. He has traveled extensively throughout his career. In 1981, Orr moved to Europe to study with Italian & German classical sculptors, where he mastered the art of Carrera marble. In 1995 he traveled to Asia to teach design & development in the manufacturing factories of Mainland China. There Merrill was responsible for art direction, concept, design & color for many products. Through his travels he discovered the impact of large-scale public works around the world, & the purity of marble in Italy.

The artist incorporates these impressions into his work, and utilizes a wide range of materials including steel, stainless steel, bronze, cast iron, aluminum, granite, marble, precious gemstones & metals, alabaster & rare woods. Although Merrill was very successful abroad, he missed his career in the Fine Art World. So in 1998, he returned to the U.S. to resume his career as a sculptor. It was stone that he was first drawn to — the aspect of dimension that allows the viewer to “see” through their hands as well as their eyes.


Then Merrill Orr discovered the freedom of working with steel — “It allows me to do the unimaginable….I am able to create by using what has turned out to be a unique and obdurate material without losing the human touch. My pieces reflect my creativity, diversity and passion for sculpting…”

Merrill has had representation in Fine Arts Galleries across the U.S. including New York, Illinois, Minnesota, California, Florida, Nevada, & Arizona. He is also represented in museums in Tokyo and in European galleries. His recent Exhibitions include the Indian Wells Art Festival (“Featured Artist”), Laguna Beach Art Festival, El Paseo Public Arts Exhibition, Calabasas Fine Art Show, & Long Beach Fine Art Show.

Merrill Orr also teaches Sculpture Classes in La Quinta, Ca for both children & adults. His website is: — he can be contacted via email:, or by tel. (760) 641-5203