Coos Art Museum Exhibit

Carousel Carvings

Coquille Valley Art Center

Summer Workshop 2004


Ken Means
Master Carver

A former professor of painting and drawing at Pasadena City College and the Otis Parson School of Fine Arts in Los Angeles, Ken migrated to wood carving when he created carousel horses for his young daughters.  With the onset of plastic replacing wood as a more economical source for amusement rides, Ken realized that the art of hand-carved carousels would soon be a thing of the past.

Since relocating to Coquille, OR in the late 1970's, Ken has been conducting annual summer workshops in wood carving of carousel animals at the Coquille Valley Art Center (a historic 2-room schoolhouse in the coastal hills between Coquille and Myrtle Point, OR).  Ken's students come from all over the country to spend 3 weeks working on their own creations under the guidance of this master wood carver.

For the past 15 years, Ken has also been creating an entire working carousel; animals, ornate moldings and machinery.  He hopes to locate the completed carousel in a community park for all to enjoy.  In fact, 19 of the planned 38 carousel animals were recently on display at the Coos Art Museum in
Coos Bay, Oregon.