Bob Kroese of Pella, Iowa, is set up and ready to showcase his pieces at his exhibit “Wildfowl Sculpture in Wood” in the Te Paske Gallery. Sept. 29 — Oct. 20 the exhibit will spotlight his woodcarvings. A reception will be at 9a.m. on Sept. 30.
Kroese’s skill and passion for carving began 25 years ago. He started with duck decoys and has since advanced into wildfowl sculptures, though art is not his fulltime gig.
“He got into carving
wood — I’m not sure how — but they’re hyper-realistic representation of different bird species that he carves out of different types of wood,” said art professor Emily Stokes. “It’s an interesting hobby since his fulltime gig is as a hospital CEO.”
Specific to materials, Kroese uses only wood from tupelo gum trees for his pieces and acrylic paint to finish off the details.
“I would say the skill and patience that goes into it is incredibly unique,” Stokes said. “I think it’s really quite realistic.”
Kroese’s work goes far beyond art installments. His pieces have won Best in Show at national wildfowl carving competitions, and his wins at the highest world levels have brought him
the title of Master Wildfowl Artist.
Organizations like Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever have also come to appreciate Kroese’s skill in his compositions. His pieces have made an environmental diff
erence, as these different organizations have actually duplicated and used many of Kroese’s wildfowl works to raise money for related causes. His carvings have raised more than $2 million for habitat and wildlife preservation. The art department and NW hopes that both students and alumni will come out to see Kroese’s exhibition.
“To have him here over Homecoming weekend will hopefully be a nice way to bring some traffic into the gallery, from both students and alums,” Stokes said. “It’s also a really great chance to see an artist who has this daytime job, but also a passion for the arts that he pursues aside from that, which is a great example for anyone to take a look at.”
Kroese’s opening reception will take place on the morning of Sept. 30 during Homecoming weekend. It will run until Oct. 20, and all students and community members are welcome to visit the exhibit.