MEET CASEY

THE ARTIST

Growing up in Southern California, Casey Parlette spent a lot of time among the local wildlife as he explored the nearby hills and ocean. Inspired by the fish, birds, and plants he saw, he began sculpting at a young age. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in anthropology, Casey was recruited to work as a commercial diver before being hired as a career ocean lifeguard. During vacations and between jobs, Casey has operated underwater cameras in exotic seas for the award-winning TV series Inside Sportfishing and adventured into remote areas of the world. For eight months Casey lived in the Peruvian Amazon where he discovered a previously unknown species of fish, which has been officially classified as Rivulus Parlettei. A naturalist at heart, Casey credits both his adventures and his studies with inspiring and influencing his art. Currently sculpting full-time, Casey lives in Laguna Beach with his wife, Gina, and their son, Brooks.

THE PROCESS

With the natural world as a never-ending source of inspiration and subject matter, Casey uses a wide variety of materials and techniques when he’s working to capture the real-life characteristics of a plant or animal. He chooses from different species of wood in an effort to have the piece resemble as much as possible the natural patterns, colors, and textures of the subject matter. The wavy pattern in curly redwood, for example, is similar to the stripes of a tiger shark, and a large manzanita burl may give way to an octopus once the wood around it is carved away. Wood truly is infinitely beautiful and full of life. In contrast, sheets and rods of metal are sterile — until a combination of blacksmithing and metal fabrication hammers life into them, at which point they give way to a myriad of shapes and textures. Casey uses metals ranging from steel and stainless steel, to bronze and titanium. The unique qualities of every metal lend themselves to different sculptures and subject matter. Carving stone results in something colorful and beautiful that will be around forever. Combinations of these materials harness the best qualities of each. Ideally, the always unique final product expresses something of the majesty and beauty of nature.

Many times it’ll be something that looks weathered and misshapen on the surface, but has an inner beauty that’s striking. It takes practice to bring that out.

exhibitions

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featured in

2008-present
Festive of the Arts, Laguna Beach

2016
Saddleback College Art Gallery 

2013-2014
Festival of Arts @ Wells Fargo Gallery, Laguna Beach 

2013
The Bennington Center for the Arts 

2012
Huntington Beach Art Center 
Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University 

2006
California Open Wildlife Art Show, Balboa Park, San Diego 

in the press

May 2021 – OC Register
March/April 2021 – American Spa
August 2019 – Stu News Laguna
July 2019 – LA Times / Daily Pilot
April 2019 – Laguna Beach Magazine
April 2018 – Laguna Beach Magazine
Summer 2017 – Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine
December 2016 – OC Register
December 2016 – BD Outdoors
July 2014 – Dana Point Times
Summer 2013 – The Anvil’s Ring
July 2013 – BD Outdoors
February 2013 – South County Magazine
Winter 2013 – Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine
July 2012 – Laguna Beach Independent
June 2010 – Burgee Magazine
July 2008 – Laguna Beach Independent