“It’s another day in paradise,” says sculptor and gallery owner Ken Rowe, savoring his view of Sedona, Arizona’s, snowcapped mountains. “We’ve been here 28 years now, and I never tire of it.”
A self-described Arizona boy through and through, Rowe was born in Phoenix to an electrical engineer and an amateur painter—a combination Rowe credits as foundational to his art. “Growing up, without even knowing it, I had this wonderful influence of the mechanical aspect of life through my dad’s career and the artistic pursuits from my mother’s side.”
Although his mother never made a career of her painting, she took it seriously. “My mother took a lot of private classes in painting,” Rowe says, “so I would sign up and go with her. Before I was 10 years old, I had a chance to attend private classes: watercolor, oils, landscapes, portraits, still lifes, everything. I guess I always thought I would be an artist of some sort.”
Read the full article in the May/June 2023 issue.
21.5″ by 67″ by 28″
Photo credit: Dr. Richard Henderson
“After 36 years as a bronze sculptor, I have never had a more profound and career-changing experience than when I had the opportunity to sculpt Simba, a mature, male mountain lion that was bottle fed as a cub and raised by a gentleman in Montana. Simba was 140 pounds of chiseled stone for muscle, covered with a veneer of soft velvet hair.
“For three days I had the amazing opportunity to study, interact with, and sculpt Simba in the field as my live model. My obsession with big cats, their anatomy, and their fluid grace, along with the opportunity to take physical measurements of his every dimension, combined with resources and invaluable references acquired from my years in the taxidermy profession, the stage was set for me to have the perfect blueprint to create this piece. It is out of respect and reverence, along with a healthy sprinkling of fear, that I was compelled to tell Simba’s story in bronze.”
13″ by 17″ by 6.5″
Photo credit: Christopher Marchetti
“As a child growing up in Arizona, I heard many intriguing stories about people keeping javelinas illegally as pets. One day, several years into my sculpting career, I received a phone call from the director of Adobe Wildlife Rehab Center in Phoenix. It had just received a 3-month-old imprinted javelina (being raised as a pet) and she thought I’d appreciate the opportunity to sculpt this little one while the center prepared her for rehab and release back into the wild. Finally, it was my chance to see how affectionate these creatures really are. It was love at first sight!
“Whenever I entered her enclosure, she would instantly greet me with a puttering noise, roll over on her back, and want me to scratch her belly. As I scratched, she would move her rear leg like a tickled dog and simultaneously stick her little pink tongue out. When the director witnessed our interaction, she gave me the honor of naming my little friend, who I dubbed Petunia. I think of precious Petunia often and hope she is in Hog Heaven! If truth be told, these one-of-a-kind critters with so much character are some of my favorite wild animals!”