Renown artist Ken Means is considered to be a master wood carver and painter of carousel animals and many other bigger than life sculptures carved out of wood, as well as the finishing detail
He has a carving school in Myrtle Point, Ore. There are several carvers from the Eugene/Springfield area who are currently taking — or who have taken — carving classes from him.
When this writer first was considering starting a carousel committee in Cottage Grove to bring to the citizens of South Valley a carousel, I organized a meeting of like-minded carousel people in Albany and the carousel museum. Twenty-six folks from Oregon and Washington came to discuss the Avenue of Carousels, Interstate 5.
Coquille sent eight representatives to that meeting, including Ken and his wife, Betty. When Ken learned of our successful reconstruction of the Cottage Grove Carousel, he called and asked if we would like to have him paint one of our animals.
Remember, he has the reputation of being a master carver and painter in the world of carousels.
I was delighted to say Yes, we would certainly welcome that.
Nadine Kelly, one of Ken’s carving students, and recent winner of the Cottage Grove Chamber Presidents’ Award, had adopted a carousel horse to help the building fund for a temporary or permanent home for the Cottage Grove Carousel. Nadine was thrilled to accept Ken’s offer to paint and detail her carousel horse, which will be done at his workshop.
I have personally toured many carousels, most with all hand-carved wooden animals, some with wooden and aluminum animals. All the carousels are beautiful to look at, with detailed work by true artists.
If anyone has a chance to drive through Myrtle Point, it is well worth the time to prearrange a tour of Ken’s studio and see the beautiful work on his lions, giraffes, horses, etc.
He is a true artist, and we, the organizers of the Cottage Grove Carousel Project, are thrilled to have the support of a world-renown authority on carousels.
I would add that the “Star Trek” star, William Shatner, has contracted Ken to carve two full-size horses.
Story submitted by
Don Williams, Cottage Grove Carousel Project