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Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about sculpting at Rowe Fine Art Gallery

Ken Rowe sculpts a wolf in front of a live audience. (Photograph by Robert Albrecht)

Ken Rowe sculpts a wolf in front of a live audience. (Photograph by Robert Albrecht)

Originally Published: September 28, 2022 11:53 a.m.

There’s a certain mystery that surrounds the creation of art, especially bronze sculptures, which require so many steps along the way.

Award-winning bronze wildlife sculptor and gallery owner Ken Rowe seeks to demystify the process when he steps into the spotlight on Friday, October 7, for Class Act.

Ken, who prefers to sculpt from live animal models, will demonstrate his process with the help of a surprise guest from Runnin’ W Wildlife Center, a nonprofit rescue and rehabilitation facility based out of Cornville.

“Will our model have fur or feathers?” speculates Ken. “You’ll have to come see to find out.”

The sculpting demonstration begins in the courtyard outside the gallery at 4 p.m. promptly. Arrive early to stake out the best seats. Ken will sculpt until 5:30 p.m. At the reception that follows, see Ken’s creation up close and chat with the artist. The evening ends at 7 p.m.

To benefit Runnin’ W and its vital contribution to northern Arizona wildlife, Rowe Fine Art Gallery will donate 10 percent of the sales from a sculpture of Ken’s choosing to the organization that night only. It’s the perfect time to expand your art collection and make a difference in your community.

“I won’t even be building the armature in advance,” Ken reveals. “I’m going to try to get as far as possible in the process – from the armature to the finishing touches – in just an hour and a half. The pressure is on. When I told my friend Jason Scull, a western sculptor and member of the Cowboy Artists of America, what I was doing, he said, ‘What are you thinking?”

“It’s exciting and intimidating at the same time,” Ken continues. “I love that it forces me to be more instinctive. All artists want to work from that instinctive part of the mind and allow our previous experience to guide us. This is my chance.”

The last time Ken sculpted in front of an audience was March 2019 when his model was a great horned owl named Tashmoo. Though none of the sculptures he’s created during these live sculpts have been cast in bronze, Ken is toying with the idea of sending this one to the foundry.

“We just have to see how it turns out,” he says.

Spontaneity is the name of the game during Class Act, so come prepared for audience participation and lots of questions. Ken will be fresh off a fishing expedition in Arkansas where he hopes to find inspiration for his next fly-fishing sculpture, so don’t forget to ask him what he has up his sleeve for the remainder of the year.

See you at one of the most exciting art events of the fall season.

Rowe Fine Art Gallery, located under the bell tower in Patio de las Campanas at Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 928-282-8877, visit RoweGallery.com.

Information provided by Rowe Fine Art Gallery.