It's not difficult to discover where Scott Kronk's heart is for anyone who visits his home on William Woods Avenue. For one thing, he has a large sculpture made of paint cans sitting in his front lawn. And in his living room, many different works of art are proudly displayed on his walls and on top of furniture. Kronk loves creating art and has aspirations of becoming an artist full-time someday in the future.
"This is what I want to do for a living. It took me 28 years to decide," Kronk said. "I've never been passionate about anything else to want to stick with it."
Kronk is a junior fine arts student at William Woods University and has lived in Fulton all his life. Although he took art classes through middle and high school, he said his interest in art didn't really peak until he took his first ceramics class at WWU. Kronk said he was working at the WWU stables when he decided to try taking an art class, since he was offered free tuition through his work at the stables. From his first class until now, he said his interest and experience with different art fields has only grown.
During his first sculpting class at WWU, Kronk built an 8-foot tall, life-size horse sculpture made of sheet metal that now sits in front of the Equine Sciences Building at William Woods. When he built the sculpture, Kronk said the equine studies chairman saw it and "loved it," so Kronk sold it to the school.
Terry Martin, professor of art at WWU, said Kronk has shown "a real interest in anything to do with sculpture" and has a "good sense of design."
Kronk has taken some of Martin's art classes and goes to him for ideas from time to time.
"He's probably the closest thing to a mentor I've ever had," Kronk said about Martin.
When Kronk had the idea for the colorful sculpture that is now sitting in his yard, Martin suggested going to the Jefferson City Art League for the paint cans.
Kronk said he turned the 116 filthy, spider-infested paint cans he got from the art league into a sculpture called "Expression of Creativity" to help promote his art. He said he used primary and secondary colors to depict the color wheel.
"I wanted to give the illusion that the entire thing is standing on one can," Kronk said.
Another way Kronk tries to get his art out there for people to see is by displaying it in local businesses and online. Right now Kronk has several of his pieces on display at Bek's in Fulton.
Tessa Pruitt, general manager at Bek's, said Kronk started displaying his work at the restaurant about two months ago. She said she had seen Kronk in the restaurant "off and on throughout the years," but didn't know he was an artist until he discussed the possibility with her of putting his art up in the restaurant.
"Garry and Rebekah (Vaught, owners of Bek's) both liked his stuff, as well as myself," Pruitt said.
The owners wanted some art on the third floor of their restaurant for a wine tasting they had, she explained.
Kronk said he has sold two of his pieces since displaying his work at Bek's. But his favorite piece is still there. It is a painting of a sun with an overlay of leaves made of copper that he calls "Emotion." He says it is a "mixed-media" piece and has priced it high, $2,500, on purpose. He said that is his "no-cry price" if it happens to sell.
Pruitt said Kronk's pieces have such texture to them that people like to look at and touch them when they come in.
"Everybody really enjoys his stuff," she said.
Though Kronk paints, draws and uses ceramics, he said, "Sculpting is definitely my favorite."
"My ultimate goal is large abstract sculpting," he said, referring to what kind of art he wants to do professionally.
Though he knows he has obstacles to overcome in becoming a full-time artist, right now he works nights at the Fulton Wal-mart to pay the bills, Kronk said he tries to stay positive about it.
"I have to tell myself, "Yes, I can.'"
Kronk said when he asked Martin what chances an artist had these days making it full-time, Martin told him "one in 10,000."
"I'd like to be that one who makes it," Kronk said.
Kronk's art can be viewed online at www.kronkcreations.com