The Sculpture of Ken Bjorge
Ken Bjorge has been sculpting for over 30 years. His images, cast in bronze, range in size from 2 inch miniatures to larger than life-size monuments. His subject matter encompasses scenes of the west, the human figure, and all manner of wildlife and domestic animals. He is often commissioned to create specific portraits, most often as monuments, intended to pay tribute to and commemorate the subject he has been commissioned to portray. His many portraits have included athletes, coaches, business figures, religious figures, beloved family members, and pets. Ken especially enjoys creating these portraits and other special pieces, working closely with his clients to create a sculpture that accurately portrays their vision.
Examples of Ken’s work can be found on the campuses of several universities as well as on the grounds of arenas, banks, businesses, lodges, museums, parks, shopping centers, and botanical gardens. His monumental portraits include Heisman Trophy winners, Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson, and Cam Newton for Auburn University; Heisman Trophy winner, Earl Campbell for the University of Texas; Coach Jim Owens for the University of Washington; Coach John Heisman for Auburn University; Coach Sonny Holland for Montana State University; and Savoy Jones for Dothan, Alabama. A partial list of clients that have commissioned work include: D.A. Davidson; the Wellfield Botanic Gardens, in Elkhart Indiana; Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.; California State University of Los Angeles; Dayton Hudson/Target Corp.; Westinghouse Corp.; the Living Desert Wildlife Park of Palm Desert, CA; Trademark Acquisition & Development Co. of Fort Worth, TX; Lincoln Harris Corp.; The International Order of St. Hubertus; Flathead Bank of Bigfork, MT; and Majestic Valley, LLC; as well as numerous private individuals.
Sports Figure Monuments
In 2010, Ken began work on the monuments of Auburn Universities three Heisman Trophy winners and a bust of John Heisman, the trophy’s namesake, who had coached at the University from 1895-1899. The completed monuments of Heisman Trophy winners, Pat Sullivan (1971), Bo Jackson (1985), and Cam Newton (2010), and the bust of John Heisman were unveiled on April 14, 2012 on the east side of Jordan-Hare Stadium where they are permanently located.
“In every phase of the process Ken was invaluable in assisting us in a highly successful tribute to our honorees. ….. His expertise and professionalism was especially valuable in the well planned design of each statue, allowing for a low maintenance and long lasting, beautiful display. ….. He delivered a lasting tribute to our sports greats that honorees, their families and all Auburn family members have accepted as a new wonderful Auburn tradition.”
-Jeffery Steele, Associate Athletic Director, Facilities & Operations, Auburn University
- Bust of John Heisman (one and one half life-size).
- Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton (one and one half life-size).
- Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson (one and one half life-size).
- Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan (one and one half life-size).
Montana State University
In February of 2016, Ken was asked to create a monumental tribute to Sonny Holland, Coach of the Montana State Bobcat football team from 1971-1977. A group of Hollands former team members commissioned the monument which was unveiled at its permanent location in front of Bobcat Stadium on September 23, 2016.
“He captured the essence of the man. He cared deeply to get this lasting piece of art just right, and he did so. He knew how much it meant to everyone, and he delivered spectacularly.”
-Bert W. Markovich, Head of Sonny Holland monument steering committee and captain of MSU’s 1976 championship team
- Coach Sonny Holland (one and one half life-size), at Montana State University.
University of Texas
In 2004, a group of University of Texas Alumni commissioned Ken to sculpt a monument of running back Earl Campbell, the University’s 1977 Heisman Trophy winner. The nine foot tall monument, titled “The Tyler Rose”, was completed in 2006 and placed near the southwest entrance of DKR Texas Memorial Stadium where it was unveiled on September 9, 2006.
“Mr Bjorge was open to our suggestions during the process of creating the work and was so very friendly and easy to work with throughout. He has created a landmark sculpture on our campus that I am extremely proud to have played a part of. ….A decade after our work of art was installed, it still draws crowds like nothing else in the stadium every “game day”, including fans having their pictures taken and others just to gaze at the awe-inspiring likeness……Our subject, Mr. Campbell loves his statue, his family says it looks just like him.”
James W. Nixon, III, Leader of the University of Texas Group responsible for the Earl Campbell monument
- Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell (one and one half life-size).
University of Washington
In the spring of 2003, Ken was commissioned to create a monumental tribute to Jim Owens, the Huskies head football coach from 1957-1974. The monument was unveiled on October 25, 2003 in front of Husky Stadium where it is permanently located.
“The statue idea was the easy part. Locating a person qualified to do the work was a more difficult task….until we met Mr. Ken Bjorge. He kept us informed with many updates and pictures on the progress of the statue and was extremely pleasant to work with. We could not have been more pleased with the final result.”
Duane Locknane, UW Football Team 1959-1962 and member of the Jim Owens recognition committee
- Coach Jim Owens (one and one half life-size) at the University of Washington.
James Oates Park – Dothan, Alabama
In September 2015, Ken was commissioned by the city of Dothan, Alabama to create a monument honoring Savoy Jones, a well known and respected young member of the community who had died unexpectedly at the age of 15. The monument, depicting Savoy playing baseball, was unveiled on April 7, 2017 at the grand opening of James Oates Park, a newly constructed baseball and softball park in Dothan.
“Mr. Bjorge delivered everything he promised. Whether it was photos of the work in progress to the actual delivery. This project was a very personal one to me and despite the logistical challenges, Ken made it a personal one to himself as well. In our many conversations over the course of the process, it became apparent that Ken understood completely the magnitude and importance of getting “Project Savoy” right. I can say without hesitation that it was a joy to work with Ken.”
John D. Ferguson, Commissioner, District 4, City of Dothan, Alabama
More Portrait Commissions
- Originally commissioned for a private residence. A second casting was purchased for placement on the grounds of St. Francis High School in La Canada, California (one and one half life-size).
- Commissioned by the D.A. Davidson Company (one and one half life-size).
- Wishing to honor their parents, these clients asked Ken to create a sculpture depicting their parents as children. The resulting monument was placed on the grounds of Hermann Park in Belle Fourche, So. Dakota, where the couple grew up (one and one half life-size).
- Private commission of client’s grandson (life-size).
- Commissioned by the Humane Society of Northwest Montana. A portion of the proceeds from this item will be donated to the Charlotte Edkins Animal Adoption Center in Kalispell, Montana (miniature).
- Private Commission (life-size).
- Private commission (larger than life-size).