(Photo by Ryder Refield)
In the town of Sisters where each artist is more distinct than the next, Ken Scott stands out with his extraordinary bronze castings, wall art, lyrical lighting and garden sculptures. His creations are spectacularly realistic with intricacies and an attention to detail that surpasses most. Stepping inside his gallery truly is like being invited inside Scott’s imagination.
After experiencing many hardships and learning life’s lessons the hard way Scott was quick to forgo the 9am to 5pm routine in favor of creating. At the time he didn’t have much — but what he had was oxygen-acetylene tanks and a torch, sheet steel, a hammer and a pine stump to pound metal on. He began realizing his purpose in life by expressing his creativity through metal and designing custom pieces which he shared each week at the Eugene Saturday Market.
“My path has been just-right for me. As a person who is very spiritual, and simultaneously ‘out-of-the-box’ the lack of a proper upbringing has been an overall advantage in all aspects of my life, and self-development in particular. I use the phrase in particular since self-development turns out to have been even more important than Mistress Metal,” Scott said.
Metal work turned into a passion for Scott that has been part of him for over fifty years. There may not be another place in Oregon with such a broad and original statement in metals by an individual artist. The Imagination Gallery has volume beyond belief and each item expresses the creative dedication Scott has for his craft.
“Everywhere I turned there were ideas and opportunities hanging from every tree and behind every rock,” Scott said. “I was consumed with the voice, the siren call of my mistress, at all hours of every day. And little by little I learned the mysterious, even alien voice of the workbench. Whose favorite words were at first, either ‘go’ or ‘wait.’ Mostly it was just ‘go,’” Scott said.
Scott sees different scenes in nature and reproduces them with bronze and metal work. His pieces are true to the Pacific Northwest and depict animals native to Central Oregon or the Oregon coast. He has a strong foundation in religious beliefs and it is almost as if he is producing art as a muse of the Great Creator.
His originality both in character and art is almost unbelievable, but that’s just the way Scott conducts his life.
“I can’t believe it comes so naturally, but never have I had to study others for ideas or technique. In the early days of my metal-madness I purposely avoided all influence from others, which was pretty easy to do, because there were very few of us,” Scott said.
Scott’s Gallery is comprised of three smaller galleries which include bronze castings, wall art and lighting. His bronze castings include trout, hummingbirds, bald eagles, pelicans and sea lions all designed with stunning realism.
“One of the most significant lessons early-on, was that I should not tell the metal what to do but express what the metal wanted to say. Something as simple as discovering a technique with the torch that would pass as the scale of a fish, which led to many, many scales of one fish, executed again and again, over and over on a crude form, with the scales bringing the suggestion of fish to what could have been simply an ugly misshapen attempt at a fish form, sleek and smooth,” Scott said.
His wall art sculptures depict natural settings with rivers flowing, birds soaring or waves crashing into the shore. Each scene comes to life with the changing light sources of the day. The lyrical lighting designs are beautifully hand-crafted ornate pieces straight out of a fairy tale. Each is entirely unique and they tend to have an elaborate antique look.
With creativity pouring out of Scott, it is only fitting that his gallery would be equally overflowing as the building is surrounded by garden art structures that include gazebos, a princess carriage and a rhino that blows flames out its nostrils.
Visitors to Scott’s gallery often look at his works of art and smile, laugh or cry with outright joy which brings absolute satisfaction to Scott in that his work has achieved its objective.
“My role in the gallery is to encourage all ages to observe and appreciate the moment. Nothing lasts forever, and on the other hand, nothing happens unless something is put into motion. My commitment is to continue the journey until I lift-off from pure joy, or burn-out, as is the natural course of all things created,” Scott said.
At 74 years young Scott finds himself at a crossroads with many creative endeavors he wants to pursue. He recently published a semi-autobiographical novel called Brownie and is currently sorting through what artistic challenge he will pursue next. However, he continues to create world renowned works of art for his clients and gallery.
After many years having his work featured in various galleries around the world, Scott is proud to have his own gallery where his work is prominently featured. The Imagination Gallery is the only place in the world where people can see his unrivaled creative fortitude first-hand.
Ken Scott’s Imagination Gallery
222 West Hood Avenue, Sisters, OR 97759
Product/Service: Bronze castings, wall art designs, lighting and garden art.