Artists of Note | Ken Rowe

Sculpting animals from life

Ken Rowe, With Age Comes Wisdom, bronze, 16 x 13 x 16.

Ken Rowe, With Age Comes Wisdom, bronze, 16 x 13 x 16.

This story was featured in the July 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Ken Rowe spends his days sculpting from life and, he says, feeling incredibly blessed that he never needs to go looking for subject matter. After years of developing relationships with wildlife rehabilitation centers near his Sedona, AZ, home and around the country, he says, “I just wait for the phone call.” For example, Rowe recently received a call from a local center, where two bobcat cubs—so young their eyes were still closed—had just arrived to be raised, rehabilitated, and, eventually, reintroduced to the wild. Two days after the phone call, Rowe was at the center sculpting the cubs from life.

Drawing on his deep understanding of animal anatomy—developed during many years of constructing animals from the inside out as a taxidermist—he brings to life impressionistic sculptural renderings of the animals for which he has such deep admiration. Rowe, the sculptor equivalent of plein-air painter, says, “Working from life presents its challenges. It doesn’t give you the luxury of picking and noodling and working things out. It’s got to be fresh and spontaneous.”

Apart from being a consummate lover of wildlife and animals, Rowe says he doesn’t have a favorite subject to sculpt. “I am so addicted to the creative process,” he says, “that I don’t care what I’m sculpting. When it works, it’s amazing. That’s what drives me.” —Laura Rintala

Rowe is represented by Rowe Gallery, Sedona, AZ; Adobe Fine Art Gallery, Ruidoso, NM; Heritage Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, and Paso Robles, CA; Mountain Trails Gallery, Jackson Hole, WY; Mountain Trails Gallery, Park City, UT; and Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.

Featured in the July 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art July 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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