If you've been in the Crookston High School commons at all this school year, you've probably noticed the school's latest addition to its memorial wall. Standing three feet tall in a case is a sea horse sculpture dedicated to former Crookston Central High art teacher, Leroy Krause, for making an impact on one specific student's life.
Jim Reese, 1962 CHS graduate, is now a professional artist in Colorado where he has created many different pieces of art, including a sea horse sculpture.
"In his own words, Reese would describe himself as a bad kid," said Gary Stegman, current art teacher at the high school.
According to CHS Principal Lon Jorgenson, through his teaching, Krause became Reese's "rock."
In order to show his utmost appreciation, Reese decided to put his artistic abilities to the test by creating a sculpture to honor Krause and his love for all kinds of sea life.
"We received this three-foot sea horse sculpture from Reese with no other information except to have a plaque with Leroy Krause's name put on it," Jorgenson explained.
Along with the plaque, Jorgenson thought it would be best to have Reese's artwork displayed in a case, made by Matt Parnow, a Crookston graduate and owner of Elegant WoodWorks, to put on exhibit for anyone at the school to recognize. "The case is made out of black walnut and zero wood accent," said Parnow.
"With some help from the student council and other donations, we were able to purchase the $1,500-$1,800 case," Jorgenson said.
The high school will also be adding lights in the case, to light up the sculpture for all to see.
In awe of Reese's artistic abilities, Jorgenson had an idea for the capable artist, a matching sculpture for the commons. Instead of another sea horse, Jorgenson is leaning towards something to show CHS's school spirit, what he called a "connection piece" or a rallying point, something to give kids pride in being a Pirate. Crookston High School's mascot, Lester the Pirate, came to mind.
Coincidentally, Reese had recently made a cowboy sculpture called "Bushwacked" that with some transformations could easily become a pirate. "The sculpture will cost under $7,000, and we have already received donations from KROX, DEE Inc. and Andy Oman at State Farm," Jorgenson said.
With hopes for more sponsors, the high school hopes to have the sculpture, placed in another one of Parnow's cases, in its commons before the end of the school year.
Note: Attempts to reach Reese for comment on this story were unsuccessful.
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